Last night (23/10/2012) I sat on the Ward Panel Committee for the Noel Park police teams with ward representatives and police to decide local policing priorities for the next period in the Wood Green area.
The police first reported back concerning their efforts to deal with the priorities set last time, namely 1. Youth loitering on the Sandlings Estate and 2. Cannabis issues on the High Road.
- Cooperation between police, Homes for Haringey, and the Haringey Ant-Social Behaviour Team led to the installation of covert cameras in stairwells on the Sandlings. As a result, police became aware of activities that they had previously of which they were previously unaware. Footage was obtained of the smoking and snorting of Class A drugs leading to the issuing of injunctions as well as one arrest for possession of an imitation firearm. Ongoing security improvements have made the Sandlings a less accessible, and thereby less attractive place for the youths, although it is reported that the problem has not yet completely gone away, and they may have just moved up and across the High Road to the Sky City Estate.
- Action was taken in February against the drug gangs on the High Road, who particularly deal in cannabis, and several arrests were made. A 6 month Dispersal Zone was established and enforced that led to a sharp decrease in drug dealing on the Street. It is thought however, that some continued their ‘business’ in Ducketts Common, and certainly after the expiration of the Dispersal Zone in August and the release from prison of some of those arrested earlier in the year, the problem has re-emerged.
Three new priorities were set, from the list of Borough-wide options .
- Youth Loitering – an umbrella term that should cover the whole ward, and deal with problems including ASB, drug-dealing, gangs, as well as those issues uniquely connected to the area’s many betting shops. A new dispersal zone will be put in place that this time round will cover not only the Turnpike Lane end of Wood Green High Street, but Ducketts Common as well. Once established, this should last till April of 2013.
- Burglary – this goes up in the autumn months as the days get darker and Christmas approaches. A few weeks ago, for example, a door was forced and a house burgled on our Association’s and Watch’s Hornsey Park Road.
- Theft from Person – another umbrella term incorporating bag-snatching, pick-pocketing, street-gambling, and aggressive begging.
The Panel will meet again on Monday, 26 November, to discuss developments in the meeting of these priorities.
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 fourth 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) at 50 Park Ridings.