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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I suggest that you copy it to email@example.com.
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.
Even though pretty much all the work is done by Ian Sygrave, there is a formal structure there are formal meetings including an AGM at which Ian and a couple of other nominal post-holders are elected. Each year all posts are open to any resident. I’m sure you’d be welcome to attend, H. Winkelmann, and to put yourself up to take on all the work Ian currently does. Will we see you at the rest of the meetings this year?
The police have been quite responsive to complaints of dealing on the Harringay Levels (which is perhaps why the problem has moved to the Ladder). The key is to collaborate with neighbours, report instances of dealing (descriptions and number plates) and get a crime reference number. Keep a record of the CRM and link related reports to that number. If you want to be proactive about it you'll start to notice the delivery patterns. The customers gather at similar times in similar places, some like clockwork.
I can't imagine the police have the resources given the other stuff they have to deal with around here but simply following the regular users on Green Lanes for a while will lead to the dealers.
Just out of interest, what is the LCSP?
Residents at the meeting reported real rigour in collecting, co-ordinating and reporting detailed information as well as supplying photographic evidence. One of the complaints voiced was that the reports are not being dealt with or even acknowledged by the local policing team. Supt Jones acknowledged that there have been local policing failures - his word.
LCSP (Ladder Community Safety Partnership) is the work of Ladder resident Ian Sygrave. He deals chiefly with crime and planning issues on the Ladder. Ian is a tireless and knowledgeable resident who's been communicating with and challenging the police and the council for about twenty years over these issues.
Thanks Hugh. This is really useful. I had planned to go along to the meeting but got held up by work. I was wondering was there any mention of prostitution or a 'brothel' operating in the area? I don't want to name the place on here but there has been a lot of unsavoury activity there of late and it's been making me very nervous.
Prostitution was mentioned, but not flagged as a major issue. No mention was made of a brothel. Have you written to the police and/or LCSP?
No I haven't but I'm thinking I should
This is a very welcome if belated action. Time to walk the walk not talk the talk. I think Ladder residents now deserve a CO-ORDINATED effort to improve our area. I have been here since 1986 and have become disillusioned with a Council that delivers poor service snd fails to join up all thecdifferent services. Time for us now to demand better and hold peopke ti account. I welcome Zena's suggstion for a summit.
A noticeable police presence around South Harringay School this evening (and apparently this morning too), which was exactly what was promised.
Credit to Ian (LCSP) and Zena (Harringay Councillor), and undoubtedly others, for making this happen!
Noticed the same! Well done to everyone involved.
This activity and crime does not respect any Ward boundaries as all our Cllrs know and should be working closer together on this. The blatant crack dealing and using has been escalating for several years to the point where it has shockingly become the norm. The Gardens, Ladder & Woodlands neighbourhoods are plagued by these guys and gals.
Any clustering of such characters on street corners, should tigger residents to report to 101 immediately. If you don't report this activity to the Police quite simply it will not be stopped. It's up to you the community to report - report report.
Hugh Is there an email to which we can report and suggest on this issue specifically , rather than just a general report to the local police please.