Dispersal Zone in Neasden

After intense pressure from the Dudden Hill Labour team, Brent Police and Brent Council are introducing a Dispersal Zone in Neasden. This is after a number of complaints received from residents and local businesses regarding the persistent anti-social / nuisance behaviour being caused by groups of males whom are gathering in and around Neasden Parade (Shopping Centre) and its surrounding roads.

zone map
Affected zone

A number of reports have been received from residents and local businesses which have highlighted the following issues / problems:

•           Groups of males causing ASB during the day.

•           Drug dealing and using.

•           Loitering in entrances to local shops / businesses & residential properties.

•           Littering.

•           Intimidation / harassment of local business.

•           Using threatening language /verbal abuse.

•           Fighting / Threats / Acts of violence.

The dispersal order will be enforced from 12:00hrs on 7th May 2014 and will be in operation until 6th November 2014. This will be for six (6) months. It will cover the roads / streets that are within the red boundary as highlighted in the map. Which are as follows : Neasden Lane bordering the A406 on the West side running between A4088 on the South and Chartley Ave on the North including both sides of Chartley Ave. Stopping at Neasden Circle roundabout on the East side including the roundabout. Along Tanfield Ave on the South East side, including both sides of Tanfield Ave. This also includes Birse Crescent and Cairnfield Ave, all other roads, streets, open areas, communal spaces and car parks within the mapped area outlined in red.

Groups of individuals causing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) or acting in a manner that is causing or is likely cause alarm, harassment or distress can now be dispersed by Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). Individuals that have been instructed to leave the area will not be allowed to return to the area for a period of 24hrs. If they return and continue to cause problems, they can / will be arrested.

Anyone found guilty of contravening a direction under a dispersal order can face up to three (3) months imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500.

The Dudden Hill SNT will regularly police the dispersal zone throughout the period of the dispersal notice.

Maps of the dispersal zone will be displayed throughout the designated zone during the allocated time period, this is  to encourage victims and witnesses to report Anti-Social Behaviour as and when it may occur.

Dudden Hill to be considered to pilot selected license landlord scheme

Plans for selective licensing for properties in Brent have been revised to consider the inclusion of Dudden Hill Ward and Mapesbury Ward. Original plans suggested Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden Green for piloting.

As part of Tuesday night’s decision, additional licensing will be rolled out across the entire borough.

Currently, all local authorities are obliged to run a licensing scheme covering Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people. A scheme has been in operation in Brent since 2006.

We will roll out additional licensing in the whole Borough from 1st January 2015. This will cover HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing; defined as properties containing 3 or more separate households in a property of no more than 2 floors.

The third type of license is selective licensing and that will focus on improving the management of privately rented properties accommodating single households as well as HMOs. This is for consultation in the five wards mentioned above.

There is now more private rented housing in Brent than Council Social Housing. It is a highly unregulated market which is causing problems of anti-social behaviour in Brent. Especially in relation to fly-tipping, street drinking and poor upkeep of properties. It really leads to eyesores to many quiet residential roads.

The scheme was attacked by Lib Dem Councillors on the night who showed themselves to be on the wrong side of the argument on this issue. They have failed to grasp the issues in Brent revolving around the private rented sector.

Many of the flytipping issues and waste from overflowing bins can be attributed to private rented properties and rogue landlords. The Brent Labour Group is the only party hat is addressing the root cause of the problem. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have gained a notorious reputation of blaming Labour cuts to streetcare for fly tipping from individuals (quite ironic after their party are cutting Council funding around the country by 50% in some cases).

They then go on to blame the Council as if it is the Council that is physically putting the rubbish out on the streets. With this sort of attitude, they will always lack the ideas, creativity and energy needed to make fundamental long term changes that we need.

It is a massive innovative step in the right direction to drive up standards for all residents and tackle issues of anti-social behaviour.

Ward Working money on crime related issues

Crime and anti-social behaviour is by far the biggest issue in Dudden Hill on the doorstep. The situation is not helped by the cuts in our local dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Team.

In 2011/2012, we invested £2,449 in the Safer Neighbourhood Team to provide crime reasurance and prevention equipment.

In addition £3,816was provided to Elders Voice who provided home security improvements and advice to vulnerable residents aged over 60. £180 worth of safety equipment was also funded to the newly formed Ashcombe Park Neighbourhood Watch.

 

Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team down to three

Police numbers in Dudden Hill are simply too low. My ward currently has only one Sergeant, one PC and one PCSO as part of the dedicated Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team at the moment.

Last night, I was on a joint collaborative ward walkabout with Welsh Harp Ward to investigate cross-ward issues in the Neasden area. Residents are also welcome to join me this Sunday with the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team for a walkabout in the Neasden Shopping Centre area at 9.30am. The issues that we are trying to solve simply need more resources.

There are currently three different area with differing problems that we are trying to deal with at the moment. In Neasden, we have the street drinking and anti-social behaviour, in the Dollis Hill part of the Ward, I was informed last night that burglary has spiked up again and the Church Road area has one of the largest crime rates in Brent at the sub-ward level.

Given the lack of resources being afforded to our local police, I will ensure that ward working money is given to crime initiatives as I have done in previous years. The doubling of Ward Working funding will go a long way to help me, my remaining co-Councillor and the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team address specific crime and anti-social behavioural issues in Dudden Hill.

David Cameron is right to raise the issue of binge drinking

Despite the rank hypocrisy highlighted by the Political Scrapbook here (LINK), which describes how David Cameron profited £84,000 from a “binge drinking” bar chain, The Prime Minister is right to raise the issue of binge drinking.

Although the issue in Dudden Hill ward is in a slightly different context compared to what David Cameron is talking about, some of the issues are experienced in my ward, particularly in the Neasden area.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.
WikiImage

The Government talk of the soaring costs to the NHS because of excessive drinking. In Neasden, street drinking has an impact on the Council’s resources as people are drinking and throwing cans away on the streets rather than recycling.

In addition, individuals off their heads on alcohol are taking part in anti-social behaviour in surrounding streets and can appear intimidating hanging around in groups in front of people’s houses.

The additional time that the Police have to spend in these hotspot drinking areas is also having a drain on Police resources. In Neasden, I am working with Sergeant Matthew Howard and the Safer Neighbourhood Team along with the Neasden Action Group. Last week I also took the opportunity to raise it with Brent Borough Commander Matthew Gardner.

The Council also has a role to play through licensing. Alcohol is too readily available. It does not help that one in four premises in the Neasden shopping centre sells alcohol; and in some cases, as cheap as £1 a 500ml can of beer.

At the same time, there are underlying issues of jobs and unemployment that have to be addressed on a national scale.

Neasden street drinking

Street drinking is a huge issue in the Neasden area. The amount of cans left behind by drinkers and the anti-social behaviour that residents and businesses suffer from drunk people is horrific.

At the last Dudden Hill Ward Panel meeting, I supported the resident’s and businesses’ plea to have it as a priority issue for the Safer Neighbourhood Team to tackle.

Today I will be going around Neasden with the Neasden Action Group to further investigate the issue and talk to residents about what they can practically do when they see someone drinking openly around their area.

Anyone is more than welcome to join us. We will be starting off where Cairnfield Avenue meets with Chartley Avenue at 1PM.

Cllr Hirani clamps down on noise pollution

Properties in Neasden have been reported for creating noise nuisance. It is unacceptable that residents have to put up with thumping music, in one house in particular for 7 weekends in a row! I have also instructed for the local police team to look into this from an ‘anti-social behaviour’ angle.

Cllr Hirani funds two alley-gating schemes in Neasden

It seems as though these two alley-gating schemes will be the last for the forseeable future as good Council staff who worked in this area are no longer working for Brent Council. The two schemes funded were behind the Subway fast food store and behind the Santander Bank (was tempted to write Abbey National!) by Birse Crescent.

Both of these had been requested by the local residents living in flats above these shops and by local businesses but had limited success. One scheme had gone as far as forming a committee to manage the upkeep of the gates, only to be denied at the final hurdle.

Street drinking has gotten worse in behind these alleyways. This can be really intimidating,especially for people who live in the flats above these shops.

I regularly walk the alleyways with the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team who recommended that gates in these alleyways would be ideal. They had witnessed dumped rubbish, and even human excrement. One member had tripped on a greasy liquid and seen a rat of enormous size. Something had to be done.

I was pleased that I was able to take advantage of the final alleygating schemes for Dudden Hill ward and it was a real struggle to achieve this. I was able to successfully argue that proceedings had gone so far that it would be barmy to refuse installation of these gates now.

The gates have already been installed and the anti-social behaviour that occured in these alley areas are no more.

Crackdown on serial graffiti vandal

An ASBO has been given to a graffitist who has been the culprit of eyesores in Dudden Hill, Willesden and Kilburn – as well as on the tube and rail networks. His graffiti damage has cost Brent Council more than £1,800 to clean up.

If any residents have issues regarding anti-social behaviour they should call the Brent Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0300 123 1212 or Brent Anti Social Behaviour Team on 0208 733 3932 or 0208 733 3940.