Drug Dealing Top of Residents' Concerns

Dangerous dogs and inconsiderate cyclists follow drug concerns

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At the annual crime summit at Hammersmith & Fulham Townhall 400 residents discussed key crime concerns in the borough.

Although crime has fallen for the last six years in a row, residents highlighted a range of problems that they want the authorities to prioritise. Drug dealing was towards the top of the list.

Several residents raised concerns about drug dealing in Askew ward. Since the crime summit, plain clothes officers have increased their patrols in known drug dealing hot spots and several people have been arrested. In June, three persons were arrested for drugs supply on Keith Grove and drugs and assets to the value of £7,000 were seized.

Anti-social behaviour committed by young people in Fulham Broadway ward was another repeated theme of the crime summit. Since the event, patrols have been increased, and Police Community Support Officers have arranged football and other diversionary activities for young people at risk of offending. Youth anti-social behaviour is a known problem, and the council, police and landlords are currently looking at the best ways to deal with the issues.

Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “Cutting crime is one of our top priorities and this is exactly why we spend £1.8 million a year to pay for enhanced squads of town centre beat bobbies. Residents’ help is also invaluable as they are our eyes and ears on the streets and the crime summit is an excellent way to mobilise their support. Working together, we will continue to make Hammersmith & Fulham as crime free as possible.”

Dangerous cyclists were also mentioned at the summit so the police have arranged several events to educate cyclists about the importance of riding safely. One such event took place outside Charing Cross Hospital while a similar session on the Thames Path in July saw 38 cyclists stopped and spoken to.

Another topic which concerned residents throughout the borough was dangerous dogs. In the three months following the crime summit, ten dogs have been seized in the wards where dogs were raised as a priority, including five from North End ward. A responsible dog ownership stand was also held at the Normand Park Dog Show. The police have increased patrols in known problem areas like Wormholt Park, focusing on dogs not under control and dangerous breeds.

Apart from paying for extra police to patrol the streets, the council uses several other tools to keep crime low. In March this year, the council unveiled the 17 strong neighbourhood wardens team. At a cost of £700,000 a year, the team target anti-social behaviour on the borough’s streets and in particular on housing estates.

A major new CCTV improvement programme is seeing the council spend more than £1m on nearly 300 new cameras on housing estates. These cameras will act as another deterrent to criminals like drug dealers, robbers and vandals.

The council has even created a saturation zone in Fulham so that no more pubs and bars can open in a direct response to complaints from residents about late-night crime and antisocial behaviour.

Another crime summit will take place in early 2012.

September 16, 2010