Vallentin Road in Walthamstow has been tarred with the unwanted title following two murders and a string of violent attacks in the last year.
Sitting in the middle of the North East London borough of Waltham Forest, the street has the chilling honour of being in the catchment area of at least SIX notorious criminal gangs.
And this weekend, the horrific reality of this turf war was brought home to residents as a 19-year-old man was shot dead on Saturday night.
Speaking just a short walk from the blood-spattered site where the man collapsed, a 32-year-old dad, who asked not to be named, told the Sun Online: “We wanted to move into a house to raise a family but now I regret moving here.
“As a family we now want to make sure we’re home with the door locked for 7pm.
“The children aren’t allowed to play outside because it’s not worth the risk. It’s no way to live your life.”
The murder on Saturday, a suspected drive-by shooting, comes just a few months after Jermaine Johnson, 41, was found stabbed to death on the same road.
Police have revealed that killing is a suspected domestic incident, but last year a 16-year-old survived a separate stabbing in the middle of the day.
Mechanic Vitor Alves, 55, works opposite the scene of the shooting in Wood Street Autos and lives nearby.
He said the road has deteriorated in the last two years and has become a meeting point where groups of youths gather at night.
He said: “The area seems to have become a bit of a magnet. It’s fine in the day but it all changes at night.
“It’s all about the different postcodes and drugs and people fighting over their bit of territory.
“You’ve had the youth centres closing down and it creates a vacuum. With social media it’s easy for them to communicate and get together in large groups and create that gang mentality.
“In many ways this road is an up and coming area, there’s nice new flats and young people moving in but on the other side you’ve got this street violence growing. It feels like we are where Hackney was a few years ago.”
Noorin Sandhu has lived in the area for 20 years and brought up two children who have since gone to university.
She said: “The area has become much more unsafe in recent years and I’m glad my children have managed to come out of the other side.
“There are people who my son grew up with – I remember them as little boys playing and having fun and now they are in prison and in a bad way of life.
“I try to keep myself to myself and trust nothing bad will happen to me. This is my home but I have thought about moving, hearing gun shots outside your home makes you feel very unsafe.”
Ovidiu Bujor, 38, moved to the road in January with his 12-year-old son and said he worries about raising a family on the street.
He said: “In the day the street is very nice, it is quiet and has a nice feel about it.
“But it is stressful having these things happen close to your front door."
A chilling report released earlier this year looked at the number of gangs in Waltham Forest and how and where they operate.
CRIMES ON VALLENTIN ROAD
Researched by London Southbank University and released by Waltham Forest Council, the report details how many gangs operate in the borough – including at least six in E17 where Vallentin Road is.
Here we look at the different gangs named in the report:
ONCE WERE KINGS: FEARED MOB WHO CROSS COUNTY LINES TO DEAL DRUGS
The notorious and feared Beaumont Crew were once the major players in the area.
But they have seen their numbers dwindling due to a split with the Mali Boys and mass regeneration projects which saw many gangsters moved out of the area.
They still have around 100 members, aged between 14 and 35.
Known to carry weapons, the gang is known to take part in 'county lines' drug dealing, sending younger members into areas such as East Anglia to muscle in on the drugs trade up there.
During the last three decades the gang have caused mayhem on the streets of London, responsible for murders, armed robberies and large scale drug distribution.
In one notorious case, 20 members of the gang murdered 30-year-old Jermaine Thompson because he “owed £1.50 from a cannabis deal”.
They attacked him like a “pack of dogs” after they left a community DJing event on the Beaumont Estate.
Tyrone Thorpe, who was 15 at the time, owned the lock knife used to stab Mr Thompson in the chest and was sentenced to life behind bars.
In a more recent case Simeon Smith, 34, who had been a member of the gang since he was 19, stabbed father-of-two Sylvester Senyah, 33, for straying into his “turf.”
He attacked Senyah as he left a Caribbean restaurant in Leyton.
He was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: ULTRA-VIOLENT GANG THAT USES KIDS AS YOUNG AS 10 AND SPIES ON POLICE OFFICERS
A 40-strong grouping, the highly sophisticated Mali Boys are drawn mainly from the Somali community and are an extremely violent and feared group in the borough.
They were forced in alliance with the Beaumont Crew but split in 2016 and now work separately.
They are heavily involved in dealing drugs – and are said to be the “most business driven, violent and ruthless” type of gang which shuns social media to try and remain secretive.
They use technology to gather information about the personal lives of police officers and even record the number plates of cops’ cars to try and scare them.
The Mali Boys groom children – some as young as 10 – and force them into petty crimes such as shoplifting to make it seem normal, before moving them onto more serious and violent crimes.
The gang use old fashioned Nokia phones because they are less easy to track and are estimated to be raking in as much as £50,000-a-week in profits from drug sales.
In 2016 Jamal Goole, 19, a member of the “Mali Boys” stabbed a rival Saren Golden, 25, from the Beaumont Crew outside a chicken ship on Lea Bridge Road in Leyton, with a broken wine bottle.
ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA: GANG THAT TAUNTS RIVALS ON YOUTUBE
The Drive/DM Crew (as known as ‘Dangerous Minds’) now work for the Mali boys.
There are currently around 20 members of the DM Crew, five of whom are in prison.
They are known to taunt rival gangs on sites such as YouTube and MySpace.
FADING FORCE: ONCE FEARED GANG UNTIL LEADERS WERE CAGED
The Loyal Soldiers/Cathall Boys were once rated by police as one of the top 10 gangs in London – but with eight members currently in prison, they are not as dangerous as they were five years ago.
Most members were teenagers from the ‘youth wing’ of the gang who started out with petty crimes before moving onto more serious offences.
The gang was dismantled in a series of prosecutions and police raids between 2008 and 2014 which saw dozens arrested and at least half a dozen jailed.
The gang was famed for its brutal use of weapons, the most shocking case being the stabbing of 14-year-old boy Paul Erhahon through the heart with a sword at a fair on Wanstead Flats.
He was attacked by a gang of more than a dozen teen gangsters, with some carrying knives and chains and others with baseball bats in JD sports bags.
Paul Benfield, 16, and Kevin Adu-Marcet, 15, were given life detention sentences with a minimum term of 13 years for murder.
Jordan Conn, 15, was also convicted of murder, and was given life with a minimum term of 11 years.
Nathan Desnoes, 16, was found guilty of manslaughter and given a detention sentence of 12 years.
Theo Diah, 19, was also found guilty of manslaughter and given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of seven years.
ENEMIES OF EVERYONE: GANG LINKED TO FATAL STABBING WHO HAVE MORE RIVALS THAN ANYONE ELSE
Priory Court, as known as the Priory Court Grey Gang (PCGG) has around 40 members of the gang, with eight currently behind bars.
There is a hierarchy within the gang consisting of the “Elders” and the “Youngers”.
They used to have an allegiance with the Beaumont Crew but are now rivals following the fatal stabbing of a Beaumont Crew member.
The gang are in conflict with more gangs in the borough than any other.
FEARED WIDELY: MOB-LIKE GANG WHICH HAS AN ALL-POWERFUL LEADER AND SINISTER INITIATION RITUALS
Chingford Hall E4 gang is currently made up of around 45 members.
Street fighting and robbery are used as initiation rites into the gang.
The gang make-up is highly hierarchical, with a clear leader who surrounds himself with several lieutenants who undertake “enforcement” of members where the leader considers it necessary, using violence to do so.
He also shows his power by making gang members hold weapons or drugs as a test of their loyalty.
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: GANG LED BY ALBANIAN BROTHERS WHO RULE BY TERROR
The Selrack are a smaller group with approximately 10-15 members and associates.
They are often seen as rivals to the much larger and dominant local Chingford Hall Gang.
The leadership of the gang has been identified as a pair of brothers of Albanian extraction who have the links for the supply of drugs to the gang.
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