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‘Puppy farms’ breeding wild dogs

nlnews@archant.co.uk
02 July 2009
PC George Thomson with two pitbulls which had to be destroyed after a raid on a council flat in Finsbury Park
PC George Thomson with two pitbulls which had to be destroyed after a raid on a council flat in Finsbury Park
ILLEGAL “puppy farms” on Islington housing estates are breeding hundreds of banned danger dogs every year worth up to £8,000 a litter.

Two dangerous pit bull terriers alleged to have mauled another dog at their owner’s command were seized in a police raid on the Six Acres Estate in Finsbury Park on Friday.

Expert officers from the Metropolitan Police’s new Status Dogs Unit and the

K-9 Dog Support Unit (DSU) were armed with specialist nooses and fire extinguishers as they confronted the owner in his home at 7.30am.

The male and female pit bulls, aged just one year old, had been bought as puppies from an illegal breeder in Islington for £800 and £700 respectively.

PC Mick Holland, of the DSU, said: “It’s like another bit of ‘bling’. If the breeders put out eight or 10 pups every litter that’s a lot of money. They are puppy farms.”

Legally the police are powerless to intervene in dog on dog attacks, and Islington officers have told the Gazette they do not feel safe confronting owners of dangerous dogs being kept off a lead armed only with a truncheon.

PC Holland, an expert dog handler, said: “Dogs will fight. Even the smallest puppy has genetics which says ‘I want to be pack leader’. Legally we have to respect the fact they are animals. But to be a dog owner you have to take responsibility.

“In some respects the owner was glad to get rid of them today. They’re only a year old but they’ve got to an age where he can’t control them. People don’t realise what they’re like. They’re not pets – they’re bred for fighting. They need all their energies channelled into something which is why they get channelled into dog fighting.”

Both banned dogs – which were being kept in the same house as three young children – were destroyed after the raid.

Disgusting

“Dogs like this should never be kept with children, it’s disgusting,” said PC Holland. “Dogs see kids as puppies. If they don’t show enough respect something inside of them just switches. An adult couldn’t bring two dogs off a child.”

Sergeant Chris Walsh, head of Finsbury Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team, who organised the raid, said: “We’ve got a lot of these dogs in the area and they’re causing all sorts of larger problems. It will only take one or two more raids like this and the word will get out that we’re proactively looking to take more dangerous dogs.”

Council tenants are not allowed to keep more than one dog in their home without special permission – but Homes for Islington, which runs Islington Council’s housing estates, admits it barely enforces the ban. Sergeant Walsh added: “I’ll tell HfI what we’ve done today and I’ll be looking for more assistance on this from them. They can impose a ban on owning dogs but breeders are the people that need to be targeted.

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Abduction fears after girl, 10, is chased in street

nlnews@archant.co.uk
02 July 2009
A 10-YEAR-old girl was chased down the street by a man in what is thought to be the fifth case of an attempted abduction since April.

Worried parents fear being kept in the dark about the attacks – seemingly carried out by the same man – claiming nearby schools were not told to warn parents after the latest incident.

The child was approached by a stranger at the junction of Stanhope Road and Claremont Road, Highgate, at about 5pm on Wednesday, June 24, and asked to walk with him.

She ran but was chased for a short distance until he gave up and drove off in a hatchback car.

The man’s description appears to match that of two other attempted kidnappings in Hornsey and Harringay in the last month.

He had blond hair, was aged about 30-35 and wore a dark suit with a red and blue tie with a white handkerchief.

Highgate ward Councillor Rachel Allison, of Claremont Road, whose nine-year-old daughter attends nearby St Michael’s Primary School, said the school was not told of the attempted abduction until five days after it happened.

She said: “I rang the school on Friday and again on Monday but they didn’t know anything about it.

“As a parent you’re extremely concerned and you just want to be kept informed.

“You need to be able to say to your children that they need to be on the lookout. It’s not that you keep them under wraps but you have to be aware of the situation.

“The schools need to know because it could very well be the same person.”

It follows four other reports of attempted kidnappings in the Hornsey and Harringay area involving children aged between nine and 13.

Police are urging parents to tell their children to plan their journeys, avoid deserted short cuts, stop wearing headphones and stay alert.

A Haringey police spokeswoman said: “We advise all children, as part of our schools programme, on what to do if approached by a stranger. his message appears to be effective in that the reports we have received show they followed the advice and have done everything they were supposed to.”

Police do not believe the recent attacks are carried out by the same person adding investigations are still ongoing.

A council spokesman said: “The police are investigating and they have not asked us to issue a Schools Safe alert.

“An alert was issued recently asking schools to be extra vigilant.

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Islington Tribune - by CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS
Published: 29 May 2009

Joint operation: teams at the Tube station targeted men between 16 and 25

Police station crackdown targets knives and drugs

POLICE have sent a warning to anyone hoping to bring drugs and knives into Finsbury Park: you will be caught.
Last Thursday a joint operation by British Transport Police, Safer Neighbourhoods officers and reassurance teams was launched outside Finsbury Park station with the aim of frightening off would-be dealers and anyone carrying weapons.
Part of the anti-knife Operation Blunt, the teams targeted men between 16 and 25, the group most likely to commit drugs and weapons offences according to police data, and used sniffer dogs and a knife arch.
Young men walking out of the station were encouraged to walk through the arch; if they resisted they were asked why. Aggressive behaviour or an unwillingness to account for their presence led to a search. Of 110 people stopped, 10 were arrested, others were searched and released.
Finsbury Park has been identified by police as a trouble hotspot because of the so-called free travel to and from the area; the 29 bus has problems with fare evasion and there are no ticket barriers at the station.
In March the area around the station was also made a dispersal zone for youths and police said its effectiveness would be reviewed when its term ends in June.
Sgt Liam Ahern of Finsbury Park Safer Neighbourhoods hub team said the operation was likely to keep criminals away from the area for at least a month, and planned to launch a similar surprise operation in coming four weeks.
“We are sending out the message: carrying knives in Finsbury Park and you will get caught. We want to reassure the local people and those travelling to Finsbury Park, and act as a deterrent,” he said.
More than 50 people were fined for fare evasion.

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Islington Tribune - by CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS
Published: 22 May 2009

Flowers near the spot Ahmet Paytak was shot

Shop shooting ‘is linked to gangs’


Fight two months before death is probed

DETECTIVES say the investigation into the shooting of a Holloway shopkeeper is “progressing well” and revealed that they identified sev­eral potential suspects.
Last night (Thursday), speaking on the eve of the two-month anniversary of Ahmet Paytak’s death, Detective Chief Inspector Carl Mehta said: “The investigation is progressing well. We’re still working through a lot of information from the public.”

Mr Paytak, 50, who lived with his wife and children in Skinner Street, Finsbury, was shot as they closed up at Euro Wine and Food on the corner of Hornsey Road and Tollington Road. His son Huseyin, 21, was shot in the leg.

In January, members of two Turkish drug-dealing gangs, the Bombacilar and the Tottenham Turks, got into a fight at the Manor Club in Seven Sisters Road. And just hours before Mr Paytak was shot, another shooting took place in Clapton, which DCI Mehta thinks is connected to the fight at the Manor Club.

DCI Mehta said: “At the moment we’ve got reason to believe the shooting at the Euro Wine and Food shop may have been retribution for a shooting incident that took place at 6 or 6.15pm that evening.”

He said he thought the initial fight, which took place on January 24 between around 10 gang members at the club, appeared to be the result of little more than male “bravado” and posturing.

From the start DCI Mehta has described the tragedy as a case of mistaken identity.

He is now looking into whether the gunmen were searching for a man who once worked at the shop who is thought to be connected to the Tottenham gang.

DCI Mehta believes the shooter is a member of a Hackney drugs gang – with more than 10 years’ his­tory who routinely ­carry guns – who opened fire in the shop despite not finding their target.

No arrests have been made so far, while appeals to locate the bike used in the killing, a rare red and black Benelli TNT, have been fruitless.

Anyone with information is urged to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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One shot and two stabbed in fight

One man has been shot and two others stabbed in a street fight outside an east London Tube station, police said.

Police were called to Manor House station following reports of a “large fight” at about 0330 BST on Monday.

Two men, both in their 20s, were found with knife injuries. One of them is said to be in a serious condition while the other is stable in hospital.

Another man in his 20s suffered a minor gunshot wound and remains in hospital in a stable condition.

No-one has been arrested over the incident.

Roads near the Tube station remain closed.

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Two stabbed and one shot in nightclub brawl

Two men were stabbed and another shot after a mass brawl broke out outside a nightclub yesterday.

The three injured men, all thought to be in their 20s, were part of a mob of 50 involved in a fight next to the Manor Club in Finsbury Park, north London, in the early hours.

‘There was about ten in the main fight and the others were standing about shouting them on,’ said a witness.

‘This is a really, really dangerous area and none of us are surprised. There’s a big fight outside the club every week – it’s really dangerous in there.’ The men were being treated in hospital.

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Two dead after ‘chemical incident’ at North London hotel

Two women were found dead in a North London hotel yesterday in what emergency officials described as a “chemical incident”.Police believe that the women, one in her 30s and one in her 50s, had committed suicide by taking a “noxious substance”, thought to be a powder. They said they could not confirm what the substance was, but forensic tests are underway.

The bodies were found in a room at the Costello Palace Hotel in Finsbury Park yesterday afternoon and were due to be removed from the scene last night. The hotel was evacuated and surrounding roads were cordoned off for a time, while firefighters in specialist breathing equipment entered the building.

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said: “We are treating this as a confirmed chemical incident. The hotel has been evacuated and cordon implemented.”

Around 70 people were believed to be staying at the hotel on Saturday night, but most were thought to have left before the bodies were discovered at about midday. Police said there was no risk to the public and the hotel will be allowed to reopen.

The Costello Palace is one of a series of budget hotels that run along the Seven Sisters Road opposite Finsbury Park. Guests staying at the hotel said it had been fully booked on Saturday night.

Eileen Early, 43, from Great Dunmow, Essex, said: “It’s just awful when you think about it. It’s such a shock to realise that this has gone on while we were inside the hotel.”

Graham Cannon, 43, from Halstead, Essex, had come to London yesterday to watch a music concert. He said: “I’ve been coming here for six years. It’s cheap and cheerful, it’s only £65 for a double room and it’s really convenient if you want to go into the centre of London.

“We came down for breakfast this morning at about 8.30 and it was absolutely packed. Nothing seemed wrong at all then. We were laughing and joking with the manager. Everything was normal. You don’t have to check out of here until 11pm so I suppose the staff didn’t even find the bodies until after then.”

Perry Williamson, 48, a friend of Mr Cannon, said: “We went for a walk after breakfast and we only realised that something was badly wrong when we came back to get the car at lunchtime. The place was all taped off and there were police and fire brigade everywhere.”

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Lesbian couple found dead in suspected suicide pact

By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • May 5, 2009 – 12:44

A lesbian couple who were found dead in a north London hotel died in a suicide pact, it has been reported.

Bose Ore, 30, and Frances Hamilton, in her fifties, were found in a room in Costello Palace Hotel in Finsbury Park on Sunday.

They had left a suicide note saying “sorry for the inconvenience” and police believe they took poison.

Ms Ore’s mother Felicia told The Sun her daughter was the “most gentle, friendly girl you could meet, with a real stubborn streak”.

She said the couple had met at a hospital in London.

“They were partners for years. They loved each other. I knew Frances very well. The last time my daughter tried to take her life with an overdose, Frances would visit in hospital.”

Ms Ore is believed to have suffered from depression since losing her job as a childcare assistant and had made two previous suicide attempts.

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POLICE are investigating an attempted robbery at an ATM machine in Green Lanes in Harringay last Thursday evening at around 9pm (23 April).

The victim, a woman in her 50s, was with a friend and stopped to use the ATM at Barclays Bank. She had difficulty inserting her card into the machine so took her card back and turned to leave. Several males then surrounded her and one tried to take her bank card

A struggle ensued and the woman’s friend intervened, allowing her to run to seek help. During the course of the incident the woman’s friend, a man in his 30′s, was punched in the face and left with a sore nose

The woman sought help from a nearby restaurant but was thrown out

until staff at a nearby pub alerted by the commotion of the incident offered assistance. Both victims attended the North Middlesex hospital

DS Shaun Carre-Brown said: “This incident is bound to have caught the attention of people in the area at the time. If you saw anything that could assist our enquiries please do call.”

If it assists the appeal the suspects are described as being males of Mediterranean appearance.

Haringey’s Robbery Squad is looking at the availability of CCTV

Anyone with information is asked to contact DS Shaun Carre-Brown of Haringey’s Robbery Squad on 020 8345 0870 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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New police group to hunt most wanted

nlnews@archant.co.uk
23 April 2009
A NEW unit has been set up to hunt down Islington’s most wanted offenders – and detectives have released pictures of the latest people in their sights.

The new police Wanted Offenders Unit was set up this year to investigate cases where suspects had disappeared, or where previous lines of inquiry have proven unsuccessful.

Already the new team has made more than 100 arrests, and around 80 people have been put before the courts.

Officers have recovered many items of stolen property as well as bringing to justice offenders who have been wanted for a number of years.

One offender – an Islington man in his 30s had been wanted for six years after he failed to appear at court for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to possessing around 400 indecent images of children on his computer.

Officers from the Wanted Offenders Unit traced the man to his work and then home address in Islington. He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. He has also been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The unit has also brought to justice a number of violent offenders as well an offender who was arrested during Operation Mista for crimes in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park.

This week the unit has released the names and photos of six people they would like to speak to in connection with a range of different offences, including a stabbing and a series of distraction burglaries.

Detective Sergeant Paul Kingdon, of the Wanted Offenders Unit, said: “Our aim is to bring offenders to justice by re-examining outstanding cases, looking for new lines of inquiry and re-visiting the homes of wanted suspects.

“In the past when we’ve circulated photos of known suspects in the local press we’ve had good results. Criminals who otherwise might have remained at large have been brought to justice thanks to the help of the local community.

“We are also giving the people in these photos the chance to come forward and eliminate themselves from our inquiries if applicable.

If you recognise any of the faces pictured in this week’s Islington Gazette (‘Most wanted’, page 18), call police on 020 7421 0157 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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DAD KILLING: Rare bike could hold the key

nlnews@archant.co.uk
02 April 2009
A Benelli TNT 1130 motorbike – the model used by the killers
A Benelli TNT 1130 motorbike – the model used by the killers

A FAST racing motorcycle could prove the key to unravelling who shot a father-of-three and his son.

Detectives have now identified the vehicle used by the assassins when they shot dead 50-year-old Ahmet Paytak and left his 21-year-old son Huseyin with a gun wound to his right thigh.

It was a red-and-black Benelli TNT 1130 that had been stolen from an address in Portpool Lane, Holborn, on October 31.

The powerful bike, which has distinctive twin lights above its back number plate, is one of only 112 in the UK – and one of only eight in London.

Police believe crooks have been using the motorcycle around north London since it was stolen.

It received parking tickets in Elton Place, Newington Green, in November. And on February 15, it received a speeding ticket in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park.

On the day of the shooting, CCTV spotted two men riding the bike in Seven Sisters Road before going into Tollington Road and then turning right into Hornsey Road. After the shooting, the killers headed back to Seven Sisters Road before overtaking traffic and jumping a red light to turn right into Blackstock Road. There the trail goes cold.

Several people claim to have spotted the bike after an appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch on Monday.

But Detective Chief Inspector Carl Mehta is still looking for firm evidence as to who has it and where it is. He said: “The recovery of this motorcycle is extremely important. It’s very distinctive and extremely rare. Does anybody have any ideas where it is?”

DCI Mehta is also looking for someone to come forward with the identity of the two assassins – which nobody has done so far.

Police have also not recovered the firearm, which they now believe is a 9mm handgun.

Mr Paytak left behind wife Ayse, sons Kemal, 27 and Huseyin, daughter Elif, 25, and son-in-law Tuncay Ganidagli.

Speaking on Crimewatch, Elif said: “If they are capable of killing my dad, an innocent man, they are capable of killing anybody.”

Funeral prayers were held at the Alevi Cultural Centre and Cemevi in Ridley Road, Dalston, on Tuesday – with Huseyin leaving hospital to attend. Yesterday (Wednesday) Mr Paytak’s body was being flown back to south-eastern Turkey, which he had left 11 years ago.

Anyone who can help should contact the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Our report to March


Councillors Report for March 09

Budget and council tax 2009/10

The council meeting to set the budget took place last night. As intended, we were able to freeze the Hackney element of the council tax again, for the fourth year in a row. Hackney is the only major council in the country to be able to do this. Residents are on average £256 better off. In addition the GLA/Mayor of London are intending to freeze their element this year.

Despite this, through better use of resources we plan to
* Increase schools spending 3.9% per pupil
* Reopen Stoke Newington Assembly Hall and offices
* Invest a further £0.576m in recycling
* Open 1 new and 1 completely refurbished library
* Put an additional £0.5m into cleansing
* Further expand statutory youth services by £0.38m
* Recruit more environmental health officers, including ones specialising in noise pollution and food standards
* Allocate over £1m more towards adult social services
* Offer free swimming to children and seniors all year round

The Audit Commission will announce tomorrow that Hackney is again a 3 Star (out of 0-4) council, and continues to improve strongly. We also commission annual research from MORI into levels of satisfaction with public services in the borough. In 2000, overall satisfaction with the council was under 20%. It is now over 70%. In addition, 48% agree their council is getting better – 12% higher than any other.

Kings Crescent Estate

We previously reported residents’ disenchantment with the prolonged tendering process for regeneration partners, and the delays to the start of interim works. They have had to endure 11 years of lengthy negotiations and false starts, while the fabric of the estate has sometimes been allowed to decline. At the previous Steering Group, the TRA notified us that they no longer sought a comprehensive regeneration, but wanted the estate refurbished and retained by the council.

Whilst we have been advised that legally we cannot arbitrarily terminate the current process, we have made clear to officers our view that the current developers should either sign up to Heads of Terms, or be regarded as no longer credible. The crucial meeting with them is due this week.

The interim works which we have been campaigning for during the last year have finally begun. The entrance to Kelshall Court on Brownswood Road (opposite the Poundstretcher) which attracted prostitution has been converted to a door entry system. The residents there are delighted.

The rest of the interim works and associated repairs are programmed between now and the autumn. They will include -
 Highway repair and replacement
 Lighting replacement and upgrading
 Roof repairs where necessary, especially to staircases
 Safety and access improvements, including some repainting

The first set of refurbishments which the council has funding set aside for, could then begin as soon as June if we are able to use existing framework contractors including those for Decent Homes. We have asked officers to properly consult residents on the materials and design to be used.

Assuming negotiations with the current potential development partnership are unsuccessful, the future programme of refurbishments will be subject to adequate provision being made in the capital programme. We have met with the new Deputy Mayor several times to try to ensure she makes Kings Crescent a top priority.

Community Safety

The Brownswood Safer Neighbourhoods Team will be moving in to a shared office with the Highbury team in the former plant hire/carpet warehouse on Blackstock Road later this year. This may also be the base for a new dedicated Blackstock Road/Nags Head SNT.

Woodberry Down

The Labour Government, through the Homes and Communities Agency, has made £16 million available to ensure the social housing on the Old School Site is built as planned. A ground breaking ceremony is now planned for 12th March.

Bids for the rest of the “Kickstart” sites totalling £50m have been submitted. Again if agreed these would allow the building of the social housing to start before any private units.

A revised PDA for these sites is being put to cabinet members on 2nd March.

It remains the intention to select a housing association to take forward the regeneration of the rest of the estate – ie non Kickstart sites – by 3rd March. The accompanying private developer for the rest will be appointed in June if it goes according to schedule.

Interim works are being put on hold pending greater clarity of the phasing of future development.

WDCO (the Woodberry Down Community Organisation) is the body meant to represent all tenants and residents, but sadly is frequently poorly attended and unrepresentative. It feels that priority for the first new homes should be given to residents already moved elsewhere within the estate. If this was agreed rather than priority for those in the Spingpark Drive part of Phase 2, it would seriously compromise the overall programme and mean a “double decant” for future waves.

The building of the new Skinners Academy has started on programme. A ground breaking ceremony there had to be abandoned because of the bad weather last month.

Hackney Homes

Feryat is one of the council representatives on the Hackney Homes board. HH has recently undergone it’s second Audit Commission inspection of the year. It’s success in obtaining at a two star rating means that £225m additional decent homes funding has been released.

Manor TRA – Portland Rise, Amwell Court and Lakeside Court

The TRA have raised issues including noise nuisance from the adjoining Thames Water site which we are following up.

Alexandra National

We are still seeking new development partners to help regenerate the site and provide rented, intermediate, private, and possibly retail, accommodation. One of the original four tenderers has been shortlisted. Their bid is currently being evaluated.

Myddleton Grange

Brian and Feryat attended the residents meeting on 25th February to support them in establishing a permanent TRA. Further meetings are planned for 18th March and 22nd April.

May 2010

Brian and Feryat were delighted to have been chosen to represent Labour again in 2010.

There was a very successful voter ID session on Sunday 25th February when 25 members from the ward and beyond turned out. In a single day we spoke to 3% of residents in the ward, and got 100 new Labour promises.

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