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Streets plagued by drug users, dealers and public defecation

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A rise in overt drug dealing and antisocial behaviour in Harringay has been described as “exceptional” and “very serious” by one ward councillor.

Residents say they have been affected by drug-dealing and drug-taking that has increased throughout the summer, along with “repeated instances” of urination and defecation in their front gardens or doorsteps.

Children have even been confronted and stopped by drug users in the street in broad daylight, they added.

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Despite reporting detailed accounts of incidents to the police, the residents – most of whom were from Hewitt Road and Falkland Road in the Harringay Ladder area – raised concerns over the length of time it is taking for the police and Haringey Council to respond.

The issues came to light during a meeting of the Ladder Community Safety Partnership on 7th September. The minutes of the meeting have been shared with the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Zena Brabazon, ward councillor for Harringay, told the meeting the situation in the Hewitt Road and Falkland Road area this summer “certainly seemed to be the worst she had experienced in the past six years as ward councillor”.

Cllr Brabazon said there had always been an issue with drugs in the ward, but the current situation was “exceptional and very serious”. Part of the problem, she added, is the sheer number of HMOs [houses in multiple occupation], hostels, and housing for vulnerable adults located in Harringay, which “sadly may act as a stimulus for drug supply and demand”.

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Cllr Brabazon added that she had forwarded “countless” emails from residents to the Metropolitan Police’s local safer neighbourhood team (SNT). Representatives from the SNT were present at the meeting and claimed to be doing “all they can to deal with the problem”, despite a “tight” staffing situation partly caused by officers being taken out of the borough to police protests and other events.

They said a warrant had been issued for one particular suspect address and would be carried out this month, followed by a closure order that would prohibit access to the premises for a specified period of time.

Despite the “challenging circumstances”, the police noted there had been “several recent successes”, including the discovery and closure of two cannabis factories on the borders of the ward, which would help disrupt the drug supply chain.

The police representatives told the meeting they would continue to do all they can to maintain a visible presence in the area and to deal with the root causes of the problem via warrants, closure orders and the identification of cannabis factories.

Speaking after the meeting, Adam Jogee, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, jobs and community cohesion, said: “The safety of our residents is a top priority for the council. We are aware of issues that residents have been experiencing in the Harringay Ladder area, and services across the council have been working together to address these concerns.

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“Our antisocial behaviour enforcement team are currently working alongside outreach support services and the local police safer neighbourhood team on cases in this locality relating to drug use and dealing, carrying out visits to key locations to gather intelligence, provide advice and support, and take enforcement action.

“In addition, our Haringey Community Gold service has been conducting regular sessions to engage with young people in the area and connect them with positive activities, and our community-led addiction support service, Bubic [Bringing Unity Back into the Community], has been carrying out regular peer engagement sessions to offer support to local people affected by addiction and substance misuse.

“We take all reports of antisocial behaviour extremely seriously, and as cabinet member for this area it is something I feel strongly about. I encourage residents experiencing issues in their neighbourhood to report it to us using our dedicated online form at www.haringey.gov.uk/reportasb so we can continue to take all measures needed to protect the safety of our residents.”

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