Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi,

I am fairly new to Haringey online, but I have been reliably informed that this is exactly the place where I can seek answers / help with regards to the issues I am currently facing.

I live just behind Green Lanes in South Tottenham on a quiet side street, away from the main road. My road consists of 15 residents who have their own estate parking (put into place approximately 4 years ago). I live at the last house on the road, which has a corner space to the left of it, that serves as one parking space, but it is hidden from view of the main road. This parking space is not used by any of the residents, and is mostly used by people as a cover for anti-social and criminal activity. It is not uncommon to come back in the evenings to find groups of youths parked up in this spot in their cars, comfortable in the knowledge that they are out of plain sight.

The kind of activity we have come to expect is the smoking of drugs, drug dealing, drinking,loud music being played, groups of youths sat around talking loudly and causing a nuisance, prostitution and sexual activity. I have spent many a morning clearing up rubbish such as fast food packaging, bottles, cigarette boxes, drug paraphernalia, used condoms and seen both urine and human faeces left behind. The littering leads to inevitable increase in foxes and rodents in the area. The bigger worry is that we have children on the road who use this area to play in and who are openly exposed to this.

About a month ago, I found a lady crouching behind my wheelie bins using some sort of liquid for a mixing agent for her drugs. I approached her and asked her not to use this area for drug taking and to go elsewhere. I have had my bins tampered with and rubbish taken out and founds bags of clothes and sleeping bags. Only two evenings ago, I came back home around midnight, to find a couple by the side of my house taking class A drugs. Again, I ordered them to take their drug taking elsewhere or I will call the police. Access to my garden can also be found in this corner via a door, which has in the past been pried open and my disabled mother has once startled a man who had managed to find his way into our garden.

This general activity isn't just confined to the area around the corner from my house, the bottom section of the parking area tends to be empty and also frequented by groups of youths in multiple cars. Because this area is away from any main roads, it gives them the safety to feel that they are free to do as they please without being caught. I would also like to state that none of the people taking part in such activities are residents of the road. I called the police once 1-2 years ago one evening, to report anti social behaviour taking place. Although the police did attend and move these youths on, in the weeks that follow I experienced verbal intimidation from the same group. Out of all the residents, this anti social behaviour affects me the most as it takes place directly in front and around the corner of my property. With over half the hoses on our road (which also face the parking area) being used as rented flats, where the inhabitants change frequently, people are happier to turn a blind eye rather than report anything. My worry with calling the police every time is that me, my family and property will be a target for these people.

25 years ago, at the age of five, I have a vivid memory of my house being burgled by armed robbers, who had hidden round the corner from my house and forced their way in when my father returned home one evening. I was too young to know what was taking place at the time, but remember clearly being sat on a bed and watching my mum hand over her jewellery. A little while after, the council installed a light for the parking area, but this does not fully illuminate the area around the corner from my house. To this day, the first thing I have to do when I return home, is to check this corner firs before entering my house, to ensure that it is clear. The activity in this area, has progressively got worse since the resident parking has been introduced and leaving the area little more secluded. 

What I would like to know is what steps can be taken to remedy this and what council departments should I contact? Should I be documenting incidents, taking photos or calling the police any time we have anti social behaviour? I have already spoken to many residents on the road, who are happy to sign in their support to rid this area of the problems mentioned above. Should I highlight the issue with a local councillor or department who I can relay the specific concerns for my road? Finally, who would I be able to contact in the council to put forward a case to purchase the problematic corner area in question?

I apologise for the extensive detail, but this is a subject that has caused me much stress and worry and it has got to a stage where I cannot just ignore it and hope it goes away. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your responses.

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I would contact your local councillor tbh.

What a horrible situation for you

Hi Arthur

Can I ask if this is a Homes for Haringey property/set of houses?

Also can you tell me what ward you are in? St Ann's? 

Yes the road / estate in question is a Homes For Haringey property. I believe it is St Ann's Ward.

Thank you Arthur. 

There is a St Ann's Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, which is led by residents who should be able to help support you in raising this as a hotspot area.

I am a bit concerned, where you are describing sounds like the other end of my estate. We had this problem about 16 years ago. I was only 19, living on my own and used to come home and prostitutes were using my steps to have sex. Times I would have to wait til they finished, other times I'd walk over used condoms and needles. 

I used to sit in my house and hear people having sex whilst Eastenders was on. 

It will get better, but it takes collective action and a lot of nagging the right people (politicians, police etc) to do something. Thankfully others on my road did this and I learnt from that.

Ive friend requested you so I can give you emails of people privately

I wouldn't want to live with that. 

I can see from your address that you're in St Ann's Ward. Below are contacts for your three newly elected councillors:

Barbara Blake
Email:  barbara.blake@haringey.gov.uk
Mobile:  078126 77740

Peter Morton
Email:  peter.morton@haringey.gov.uk
Mobile:  07812 677713

Ali Gul Ozbek
Email:  aligul.ozbek@haringey.gov.uk
Mobile:  07812 677716

Yes it does fall under St Ann's ward. Is there any of the three who I should contact in particular or just get in touch with all of them?

They're all new, all unproven so should be raring to go. I've no idea if any of them are any good. I'd send an email to them all and let them work out between themselves who's going to handle your case. You could do worse than copying Lammy in on the mail too. Try david@davidlammy.co.uk

I will do. Thanks a lot Hugh. Much appreciated.

Hi there, it sounds like your having the same problems we were having with our carport/drive way; We tried almost everything from calling the police frequently to confronting people straight up, it never worked.  What we found was by  "preventing" asb, this helped to  solve the problem.  Our situation was slightly different as we had an area we could section off for prevention.  But initially we spoke with our landlords and the council.  They were willing to install "Key Bollards" on the drive, also willing to put in extra lighting and then we battled with our safer neighbourhood team to for regular patrols day & night............... Some of the measures worked some didn't.  Its all about the individual and the property type.  We were eventually able to tackle ASB by getting our landlords to work with those causing the problems, we found them alternative things to do which didn't include hanging around on street corners smoking weed.  Most of those who were committing asb have now gone on to lead very successful lifes, nearly all are now working and have left their bad ways behind them and some haven't but those people are much more respectful then they were before.  I felt the key with tackling our ASB issues was to open up a friendly, approachable and understanding dialogue with all involved and gradually they were responsive.  I know its a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes it isn;t about beating them around the head with a big stick and telling them they are bad and in the wrong, but sometimes it is better to bring yourself down to their level, make them know your not the enemy and work with them, its a long process but with the right support from the police & local authorities it does work! 

Thank you for your response Kimberley. The house is actually ex council and we are still paying off the mortgage. I have lived here all my life. The key bollards and lighting is something I was thinking of aswell...which department at the council helped you to arrange this? Your advice in helping these youths turn their lives around is a nice one in principal, but when your the only resident who deals with the brunt of it and having to witness so many different groups of youths and people come and go, it gets to a point where you have to accept its a losing battle. I have seen the area change so much in good and bad ways, but if it was a joint effort from all the residents then that could work. But most people are happy to turn a blind eye as it doesn't really affect them as much. The area around the corner to my house actually serves no other purpose than to act as a cloak for this breeding ground of criminal activity. I would also be keen to look at whether the council will let me buy the land and be able to extend my garden walk to seal this corner off.

We were the only residents taking pro-active action, it really was a case of "us and them" but someone had to step up and thats why I succeeded in the way I did! Just because your one person doesn't stop you from making the difference, but always err on the side of caution, every situation is different and unique!  In terms of key bollards etc we spoke with our housing officer, for your case I would suggest you speak to Haringey's ASB team and ask them for further advise about key bollards and preventative measures, it'll be a long and arduous process but one way of aiding your situation and if the council can;t help get onto your local councillors and MP and local papers, there will be something they can do you just need to be really persistent!.  P.s. Buying the land is viable, and then your in complete control! 

Speaking to local residents this week, most people have been supportive of putting a stop to it. I think as you say, it just needs one person to get the ball rolling. Thanks again for the advice. And I will be contacting the ASB team as well as my local councillors to see what can be done. I think I, like many of the residents have buried our head in the sand or what has been going on. The land was offered to my father many years ago, but he wasn't able to go ahead withy the purchase at the time. I will pursue this avenue again and see if I can't find someone at the council who can assist with this.

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