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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Police boss promises action over drugs issue at neighbourhood meeting

This evening, Superintendent Chris Jones attended the local community safety partnership (LCSP) meeting at Allison Road Hall to meet Ladder residents about the local drugs issue. Below is a rather hurriedly written update.

Supt Jones is in charge of all neighbourhood teams in Haringey and Enfield. He has been made aware of the increasing drug selling and use issue on the Ladder. Both Councillor Zena Brabazon and Ian Sygrave of the community safety partnership have been in touch with him regularly over the past few months, passing on residents' concerns.  

Today Jones offered to come and meet residents face-to-face to hear about the drugs issue and to offer some action.

About thirty residents attended to meeting with the police boss. All had similar tales of dealing and use in the Passage. Many reported that their children were now fearful of walking to school along the passage. One woman who lives at the Wightman end of her Ladder road said that she now catches a cab home from Green Lanes at night for fear of the drug activity.

We also heard about the use being made of people's front gardens both for drug-taking, as well as for less savoury (and rather more smelly) reasons. The issue affects mainly those living near the Passage.

I found it remarkable how familiar people are with who the drug dealers are, where they live and where the centre of operations is. For example, there were several references to the 'dealer with the pony tail'. 

Supt Jones freely admitted that the neighbourhood has been failed by the local neighbourhood policing system. Whilst the causes of the failure are complex and, of course, include limited resources, Jones has been able to identify local policing management issues that he feels he can address. 

"I promise you I'll resolve it", he said at one point. 

Coming from someone else, this may have been less convincing. But I did feel that Jones meant what he said. He made several very specific promises

  1. From tomorrow (Friday 10th Sept) uniformed police will be on patrol along the Passage at school drop-off and pick-up times.
  2. Starting next Monday, he will make weekly reports to the local community safety partnership.
  3. He will produce a 30-day plan for tacking the issue
  4. He will attend the LCSP meeting in November to take feedback and provide another update on the issue

At the same time, our local neighbourhood policing team has just been doubled from two officers to four.

Jones asked that despite the frustrations reported at the meeting with reporting the drugs issues to the police, that we all continue doing so. He said that this ensures that the severity of the issue is registered so that it can compete with other demands on police resources. 

He advised that if we witness something that feels immediately threatening, we should call 999, He said that If the operator tries to tell you its the wrong place to report it, tell them Jones told you to call there. 

If it's an update on intelligence on the ongoing issue, he asked that you send an email to the neighbourhood policing team at harringay.snt@met.police.uk. I suggest that you copy it to lcsp@blueyonder.co.uk.

Jones told the meeting that all emails will be logged and people should expect an email response. If this doesn't happen, we can update him in November when he attends the LCSP meeting that month. 

Cllr Zena Brabazon told the meeting that she would like to see a Harringay Ladder summit meeting over the issue to co-ordinate the council and police response and bring in people like architects and specialist police officers to introduce 'designing out crime' measures. 

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Thank you for the update Hugh. 

Thanks for the update Hugh. Seems encouraging and it’s hopefully a step in the right direction.

This sounds like a promising update.

Was Turnpike Lane counted as part of this discussion. One cannot be solved without the other I am afraid.

Turnpike Lane was included in the conversation and the links between it and the Ladder issue were acknowledged. The area has its own policing unit dealing with the drugs issue there. 

Did they give any indication of when this will start? The dealing around the station is incredibly blatant and pretty much non-stop.

I got the impression that it was already happening. Best to contact the police direct or through your councillor to ask. Or, Ian Sygrave may know. 

Thanks. I'll try emailing them again, maybe they will answer this time. I walked past the station a couple of times yesterday and there were at least half a dozen lads dealing each time so it hasn't had much impact so far.

Let us know if you don’t hear back. Cc Cllr Zena Brabazon. 

Thank you for the update, Hugh. Can I ask, was Railway Fields included in the discussion? I sometimes find the same characters in there, and it can be - when quiet - far more remote.

Yes, that's an excellent point. My daughter encountered some men shooting up who yelled at her to get away - she's now scared to go off the main path which is a shame as that's part of the joy of the place!

Sorry. Missed this earlier. No Railway Fields wasn’t mentioned. Can I suggest that at the very least you email Ian Sygrave (who is the LCSP) and if you have some specifics also the police. 

Is Mr Sygrave's role democratically elected? How is it overseen? It's not something I'm familiar with. I've spent my recent years in the States and there are similar groups there particularly in NYC but they are usually activist led. Some work, some don't. Good to hear ours is effective.

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