ASBO improves High Road

It appears that efforts to put pressure on the police for action against the drug dealing loiterers around Turnpike Lane and the betting shops paid off last week. 19 arrests were made, and according to the area's Sgt., Rich Davies, we will not be seeing several of them again for quite a while.

An ASBO applies all along the High Road and the police will exercise their powers to break up gatherings of an anti-social nature.

There is a marked improvement to the High Road following these actions.

Here is the full story:

 

Update from Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator: Effort against High Road/Turnpike Lane drug gang successful

 

Over the past few years, a gathering of young males loitering outside of betting shops on Wood Green High Road, near the Turnpike Lane Tube Station, has become a part of the area’s landscape. Harassment, drug-dealing, and other forms of anti-social behaviour has often prompted residents to complain to the police, but until recently little seems to have been done about it. On the 22 February, at the Parkside Malvern Residents Association’s meeting, local residents voiced their ongoing frustration with the decline of the High Road, and particularly with the drug-dealing gangs. I advised that those present should email a local police sergeant, and committed to personally write on behalf of myself, my area, and my watch. On the 24 February I contacted the Sgt., saying in the body of my letter,

 

I have been asked to write on behalf of the Sunrise Neighbourhood Watch, which is made up of residents from Park Ridings, Malvern Road, and Hornsey Park Road, and on behalf of residents with whom I have close ties on Alexandra Rd., Ravenstone Rd, and the Avenue, to express the discontent of the vast majority of area residents with the way in which the WG High Road is patrolled. Several people have complained to me that while they see the occasional police car, they hardly ever see and police walking on patrol. Hours when they say police are not to be found whatsoever are after school, and in the evenings and at night although they could not say that they saw a visible police presence at any time. Particular concern was expressed with the seeming 'blind eye' that is turned to anti-social, drug (skunk cannabis to be precise) dealing layabouts and thugs outside of the betting shops near Turnpike Lane tube station. They expressed to me, and I can testify to this myself from personal experience, that it is a more recent problem and is growing, with gang like groups clustering on the sidewalk. Locals asked why they were not being dealt with, why they have not been given ASBOS for their harassment of passersby or more drastic measures taken for their quite open drug-dealing, why the police are not enforcing their powers to break up such groups, and so on and so forth. Could you please see to it that something is done to sort this out? I, my Watch, and my area would appreciate it.

 

Kind regards

 

I was informed at the end of last week, that action had indeed been taken, concerning which the police issued the following statement (found at http://content.met.police.uk/News/Gang-raids-net-19-arrests/1400006961552/1257246745756):

 

The two-day operation targeted at a Haringey-based gang saw 17 suspected members arrested in the street in the Turnpike Lane area yesterday afternoon (28 February), and a further two were arrested in dawn raids today (29 February) in Wood Green.

"This operation fulfils one of our main objectives, to take harmful gang members off the streets.”

 

The suspected gang members, who were all males and ranged in age from aged 17 to 39, were arrested for offences related to the supply of class A drugs. They are currently being interviewed at a number of London police stations.

200 officers from Haringey borough, Met specialist units and Safer Transport teams joined together for the operation, which was spearheaded by the Trident Gang Crime Command.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Champion, said: "This second major operation under the new command fulfils one of our main objectives, to take harmful gang members off the streets and make our communities safer as a result.

"These raids today are a result of weeks of meticulous preparation by our specialist team – and there will be many more as we work to progress our objective of identifying, tracking down and bringing to account the most prolific offenders linked to street gangs.

"However, we would much rather stop young people offending in the first place. For the small number of young people who choose to affiliate to gangs our message is clear – either accept the specialist support on offer to leave criminality behind, or face the consequences that are inevitably coming to you."

MPS Superintendent Chris Barclay, lead for Haringey’s Gang Crime Taskforce, added: "This operation is another example of our determination to enforce the law against those involved in gang crime.

For those who refuse to engage with the help offered to get out of gangs, we will support the Commissioner’s tough stance on gangs by taking robust enforcement action in order to ensure the streets are safe for the community.

We will continue to work in partnership with Haringey Council and other agencies to identify opportunities to divert those at risk of getting drawn into gangs and to show those that want to leave the gang lifestyle behind that there is a way out."

The Trident Gang Crime Command was launched publicly on 8 February 2012 with a mass photocall in Trafalgar Square that brought together police, victims and community members in a show of strength, demonstrating Londoners’ determination to battle the blight of gang crime. It marked the beginning of a step change in how the MPS tackles gang crime in the capital and forms a key part of the Met Commissioner's total war on crime.

 

In addition to this, ASBOs will be given out and enforced, and most significantly, between Turnpike Lane and Courcy Road, the High Road is now a Group Dispersal Zone. In accordance with this, between 01/03/12 and 31/08/2012 a Police Officer or PCSO may give one or more of the following directions:

 

-Tell the people in the group to disperse
-Tell people who don’t live in the affected area to leave
-Tell people who don’t live in the affected area not to return to the affected area.

 

There is already a marked improvement on the High Road and businesses are happy with the new measures. I look forward to updating you in the future concerning any other successes of the Sunrise Watch in cooperation with the Police and Government officials. In the mean time, don’t hesitate to make contact about any concerns you have for the area.

 

Ryan King is a committee member of the Parkside Malvern Residents Association and is the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for the Sunrise Neighbourhood Watch. He is a third year student at Highland Theological College of the University of the Highlands and Islands and serves as the assistant pastor of Grace Baptist Church (Wood Green).

 

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