Bring back CCTV: Camera drove down pizza delivery muggings and drug dealing, South Woodford residents say

Residents said takeway drivers were targeted. Picture: Sean Dempsey

Residents said takeway drivers were targeted. Picture: Sean Dempsey - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

It took a “10-year campaign” to install a CCTV camera in South Woodford to combat drug dealing and pizza delivery muggings but now Redbridge Council has taken it away because incidents have decreased.

Residents said the camera, on the boundary of Rivenhall Estate and Hermitage Walk, was working as a deterrent and now antisocial behaviour will simply come back.

One estate resident, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said she was fed up with seeing drug dealers sell to school children.

In a bid to have a camera installed she recorded the licence plates of cars and took pictures of criminal acts.

“Since installation, the area has been much quieter at night and felt safer,” she said.

“No more little cars parked for hours - no more dealers openly selling.

“Even the learner drivers are back- possibly because they no longer feel threatened.

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“Could it be that the camera has acted as a deterrent, and therefore is even more necessary?

“It is very unfair to have a camera for a number of weeks and then for it to be removed because there have not been any incidents of antisocial behaviour.”

She also said that in addition to the antisocial behaviour, residents were having to “spend hundreds” on security defences as so many properties were being burgled.

“Please reinstall the camera,” she begged.

“Otherwise the drug dealers will think there is nothing to fear and will carry on with their drug dealing, crime and intimidation of residents on the Rivenhall Estate and surrounding streets.

“Are we waiting for some really serious incident to take place before action is taken - and the camera is re-installed?

“Redbridge Council has a duty of care and safety for all its residents and is responsible for curtailing crime on council properties.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We must manage CCTV effectively which is why we purchase cameras that are mobile, so they can be moved if there is a greater need in another area.

“There have not been any recorded incidents of ASB at the location since the camera was deployed so clearly this was an effective deterrent.

“The council is committed to tackling crime and has invested £1.5m in new high-tech ANPR and CCTV cameras to ensure our residents are protected and feel safe.”

The council advises that any residents experiencing antisocial behaviour should call its hotline on 020 8478 4679, the 101 non-emergency police number or 999 in an emergency.