June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Friday, July 13, 2012
A terrorised Tottenham community forced to walk through a “gauntlet” of threatening men hope to reclaim their streets after police were given extra powers to disperse them.
Northumberland Park’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) is reintroducing a dispersal order in the Ruskin Road area after residents raised concerns about anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder which left some unwilling to leave their homes.
Magistrates granted the order after police submitted statements from residents describing having to “run the gauntlet of males” blocking the street, making racist and sexual comments and creating “a general threatening and menacing air” which affects “all decent residents in the local area”.
Other complaints cited littering of empty bottles and cans, loud drunken arguments breaking into fights and drug dealing. One person said: “I have to carefully consider whether or not to go outside my home with my child at certain times.”
The dispersal order means anyone told to leave the defined zone by police risks up to three months’ jail and a fine of up to £2,500 if they return within 24 hours. Under-16s can be escorted home by police after 9pm if not accompanied by an appropriate adult.
A similar order in place for six months until last April saw a significant fall in problems in the area.
Sgt Jim MacPherson, of Northumberland Park SNT, said the order is the most effective way to fight the problem, alongside using ASBOs and anti-social behaviour contracts, adding it is “not acceptable” for residents “to be put in fear of walking down the street”.
He said the order would target the “specific group of people” putting residents in fear.
The order comes into effect at noon on Friday, covering part of Lordship Lane and Tottenham High Road, and Kings, Bruce Castle, Birkbeck, Ruskin and Cedar Roads, Chappel Stone and Argyle Passage.
It follows a similar order made to tackle street drinkers and others causing a disturbance or nuisance around Seven Sisters station.
In force since Monday, the order extends west from Tottenham High Road along West Green Road, to its junction with Avenue Road. It reaches as far north as Philip Lane and Clyde Road, and as far south as Seven Sisters Road, joining up with Avenue Road via Culvert, Braemar and Roslyn Roads.