What about us? Ilford residents want CCTV for drug dealing hotspot

12:00 20 October 2016

Redbridge Council plans to install 12 CCTV cameras around York Road, Ilford. Picture: Clive Gee/PA

Redbridge Council plans to install 12 CCTV cameras around York Road, Ilford. Picture: Clive Gee/PA

PA/Press Association Images

Residents who have complained their road is a drug “hotspot” have reacted in anger to the news that other parts of the borough are to receive more CCTV cameras.

Following complaints about drug dealing on York Road, Mansfield Road and Balfour Road, in Ilford, a total of 12 cameras are to be installed.

But people who live on Buttsbury Road, off Loxford Lane, Ilford, say they have been forgotten once again.

“It’s a bit unfair that we are not getting a camera, everyone knows the problems with Loxford,” said a 30-year-old father-of-two, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Over the years, residents have raised issues time and time again, but it appears to fall on deaf ears as nothing is being done about it.”

The father added that in the space of five days, he has seen people smoking drugs in cars, drug dealing and needles carelessly discarded on the floor near his house.

“It’s like they [Redbridge Council, owners L&Q and the police] don’t really care about this area,” he continued.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal, who told the Recorder last month that “no part of the borough is forgotten”, said the majority of the 12 cameras belong to Transport for London (TfL).

“These are going up because of Crossrail but it’s now going to free up our cameras to be redistributed around the borough,” he said.

“We will be looking at placing some cameras around Loxford Lane.

“Before Christmas, the cameras will be redeployed.”

But the resident speaking to the Recorder remained sceptical.

“Unless I see it, it’s empty words really. They talk about Crossrail but it’s [the 12 cameras] talking about crime and drug dealing, not Crossrail.

“It’s a half-hearted response.”

A woman who has lived in Buttsbury Road for more than 21 years said: “The lighting is so bad, it’s dark. Especially when walking home it’s really intimidating, you don’t know who is lurking around.”

Cllr Shakil Warraich Ahmad (Loxford, Labour) said he has sent an email to the council’s senior management team in a bid to address the issues.

“If these activities are going on as residents say then yes they should have the cameras,” he said.

A spokesman for L&Q, which owns the homes of the residents mentioned in this article, said: “We are dedicated to ensuring that Buttsbury Road and the nearby area is a safe and positive place for everyone.

“We would like to reassure all our residents that we are working collaboratively with our partners from the local community, police and council to investigate and appropriately address their concerns.”

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