[from Met Police reports]
Partnership Activity in Blackstock Road
Since the start of the operation the partnership has continually consulted with the local community particularly the traders – many of whom are Algerian. Police have sought the help of translators and Independent Advisory Groups to ensure traders are kept up to date of activity taking place. Bi monthly meetings, supported by Fin Future, also take place to allow two-way consultation.
A monthly survey assesses whether the ongoing activity is having a positive affect and what further improvements can be made in the area. In the most recent survey, 89 percent of all respondents said the recent activity in Blackstock Road had made them feel safer.
Since the end of July up until December, police arrested 72 people in the area for offences relating to drugs, immigration and handling stolen goods. Also:
· Numerous people and vehicles have been stopped and searched
· Five vehicles have been seized
· One prolific offender has been deported
· £4,500 in court fines has been recovered
· Seven unlicensed taxis have been reported
· Five referrals have been made to the Council for illegal street trading.
The SIP continues to work with businesses and landlords to ensure they are not trading illegally. A police Crime Prevention Design Advisor is looking at how to improve lighting in the area and will make recommendations to Islington Council. Alert Boxes, which enable immediate communication between local businesses and police, are also being distributed.
Chief Inspector Jane Johnson, Community and Partnership, said:
“This operation is not just about making arrests but is also about providing a high profile police presence, engaging with and reassuring the local community that we are addressing the problems in the area.”
“So far the local community has been extremely supportive. We need this to continue. It is only with their support that we can tackle these issues and make Blackstock Road a safer and more pleasant place for everyone.”
“My vision for Blackstock Road is a vibrant, thriving and culturally rich area which people can visit and feel safe doing so.”