Bid to tackle purge of Barkingside High Street gangs

Violent gangs congregating in Barkingside must be dealt with councillors have said, after two PCSOs were assaulted.

Last week’s incident follows a string of antisocial behaviour in High Street.

The “intimidating” groups commonly gather at the bus stops close to Fullwell Cross Library and swimming pool, according to worried residents who raised the issue at a meeting of area committee three last night.

Sgt Keith Rosenwould of Fairlop Safer Neighbourhood Team said officers regularly patrolled High Street.

“We are aware of the problems in the High Street and we ask that people get in contact with us if there are any issues,” he said.

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He added the two PCSOs were “fine” after the assault.

Speaking during last week’s meeting, which was held in Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre, Forest Road, Barkingside, Conservative Cllr Nick Hayes questioned whether fast food takeaways in the area were to blame for groups of young people gathering in High Street.

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And takeaways were accused of adding another blight on the street by not stopping customers throwing their rubbish on the street.

But councillors were told there was little they could do to compel business owners with a licence to trade to be more responsible.

Independent Cllr Harold Moth said: “All shops should be responsible but we can only attach conditions when we have a new application.”

The committee also raised concerns about the “inconsistent” amount of cleaning in High Street since cuts were made by the council.

Conservative committee chairman Alex Phillips said: “We’ve got to have a basic level of cleanliness because if it looks undesirable you will turn people away.”

The committee agreed to chase up work carried out by its street scene enforcement team, who have noted the small size of a bin in at least one High Street takeaway.

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