Riots: Open Letter to Cllr Claire Kober and Ward Councillors

Wood Green was the target of a rioting and looting after the Tottenham disturbances. Here is our reaction, addressed to Claire Kober and the Ward Councillors.

Dear Claire, James, Alan and Pauline,

The wholesale looting and criminal behaviour in Wood Green on Saturday night saw our area totally abandoned by the authorities and lawless for more than 5 hours. In that time, our streets were filled with hooded and masked youths climbing over walls and through front gardens, speeding cars and individuals shouting down mobile phones, clearly organising what was going on – all this in the dark, away from the bright lights of the High Road and gaze of CCTV. Our 999 calls were answered simply with a ‘sorry, we have a major incident in Tottenham – we can’t help’! Anything could have happened and it was probably more for the safety of the police that they didn’t come, than operational need or any concern for us.

The police aspect of this major incident will need following up but it illustrates again how a failure to have clear boundaries between Wood Green town centre and the surrounding residential streets causes crime, personal safety and environmental problems in our midst. It is time for the council to address the way every problem in the town centre instantly flows into our streets. This means having transition space (and so called gateways) to our area, CCTV, better enforcement of by-laws (the constant urinating against walls being a particular problem),stopping our roads being a short circuit through the town and stopping them being the diversion for several bus routes and all other traffic every time the High Road is closed.

There seems to have been very little, if any coverage of Saturday’s looting and criminality in Wood Green – perhaps not a bad thing since, speaking to traders, they would rather its reputation was not tarnished. David Lammy has made a similar point – areas, business and people are harmed by association with this sort of event. Equally, the problem must not be ignored. We understand there is a Town Scheme being planned by the council and would therefore ask that it addresses the aspects of the town centre that cause our area so much harm.

Oddly, Saturday night was one night when there were no screaming sirens – ironic!

We would welcome an early meeting to discuss this, before it is all, conveniently forgotten.

Yours sincerely
Marcus Ballard



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