Speaking Out: Tom McLaren speaks about antisocial behaviour in South Woodford (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Tom McLaren speaks about problems at Queen Mary's Gate estate
My name is Tom McLaren and I’m speaking out about antisocial behaviour (ASB) in South Woodford.
Over the last year or so we’ve spoken to thousands, literally, of residents in the area.
One of the main concerns they have is antisocial behaviour and crime.
And that’s understandable because crime levels in South Woodford, compared to neighbouring areas, are significantly higher. If we look at Roding, for example, crime is 17 per cent lower, Monkhams is 24 per cent lower and Bridge ward is 31 per cent lower.
One of the main issues is the Queen Mary’s Gate estate.
When we went in to talk to residents we noticed the state of the buildings was significantly deteriorated.
There were holes in the walls. Parts of the stairs were missing. Some of the doors were broken and the lifts weren’t working.
Digging deeper we found there were significant ASB issues that had returned.
The police need to address the behaviour of certain individuals in the blocks, they need to be more visible in the estate and really get out there and show them they can’t behave in this manner – it’s unacceptable.
On top of that the housing association needs to put in place measures, in consultation with the police, to make sure all the areas are secure.
We’re talking about the car parks, they need to be properly secured.
We also need the ASB team from the council to look at this and take whatever actions need to be used to address it.
That might mean something like evicting tenants, but if that’s what it takes to deal with the problem and to make the area safer for all residents then that’s something that needs to be done.
We also need something for the kids to do. At the moment they’re hanging around outside there because there’s nowhere else for them to go.
Residents shouldn’t have to put up with intimidation, with drug dealing, loud music, and with the kind of conditions they’re suffering these days.
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