Residents complain their Ilford street now 'full of crime'

Cavendish Gardens, a once quiet residential street in Ilford, now has drug problems, residents say.

Residents in Cavendish Gardens, Ilford have raised the alarm about anti-social behaviour and drug-related activity in their street. - Credit: Google Maps

Residents have complained that a "lovely" street in Ilford has turned into one "full of crime".

Some of the residents in Cavendish Gardens, which leads directly to Valentines Park, grew up there and are now bringing up their own families in those same houses but claim that anti-social behaviour and drug-related activity has emerged over the last two years.

Some of them have had to go so far as to install CCTV cameras, Ring door bells and security gates to ensure their safety.

One resident, who asked not to be named, told the Recorder: "The situation's become untenable. I have spent the last 37 years in this same house and now I feel I can't go out into my front garden because I'm scared of who might be hiding in it.

"In 37 years living here I never dreamt of this."

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The residents have complained to the police, Redbridge Council and Ilford South MP Sam Tarry on multiple occasions but feel they are getting nowhere.

They believe the problems are coming from alleged illegal houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) on the street.

Park Hotel Ilford

Redbridge Council has acknowledged it has received complaints of anti-social behaviour in and around the Park Hotel but the manager said the issue had nothing to do with them. - Credit: Roy Chacko

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In November the Recorder contacted the council about the situation and, at the time, they said they were aware of the problems in the road.

It said it had assembled a special tasking group with partner agencies, including Redbridge Police, and would take action to resolve the problem.

A spokesperson added: "We are also conscious that previous attempts to solve the issue have not been entirely successful, and we are now going to implement a plan that we hope will have long and lasting benefits."

Five months later and the council could not provide any concrete examples of what action had taken place since then.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “In November 2020 issues concerning anti-social behaviour and drug related activity in and around the Park Hotel came to our attention.

“We work closely with the local policing Safer Neighbourhoods Teams in Redbridge and will give them all the support we can to resolve any issues that involve anti-social behaviour.”

A manager for the Park Hotel, which is on the corner of the street, said they are aware of the crime issue in the area but stressed it was not coming from the hotel.

The manager said: "We agree with the residents there is a problem and we have called the police a number of times and provide photos of activity our staff observes.

"We have done everything we could possibly do but the activity has nothing to do with the hotel."

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "I can confirm police have received reports of anti-social behaviour and the local neighbourhood policing team, led by Sergeant Rehan Azam, are aware and are monitoring the situation."

Another resident, who also asked to be anonymous, has lived in the street for the last 20 years.

He said: "What was once a lovely residential street is now full of crime and we just don't know what to do. 

"Odd people seem to visit at all hours causing a nuisance and there is a lot of drug use, anti-social behaviour and rubbish.

"We need to keep a white noise machine running all night just so my wife can go to sleep and drown out the noise outside."

The police have asked residents to take pictures and videos and send it to them but they feel this is putting them in danger.

The resident who has lived there for 37 years said: "We are putting our lives at risk.  What happens if someone catches my wife or me taking photos of them dealing?

"We shouldn't be policing our own roads."

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