Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and local leaders hear of frustrations over crime

Redbridge’s police chief, its council leader and MP Iain Duncan Smith heard of frustrations over crime, anti-social behaviour and the night-time economy in Woodford Green and South Woodford last Friday.

The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green called the packed meeting at Woodford Methodist Church, Derby Road, South Woodford, in the wake of the Cakes & Shakes shooting last November.

But with the visiting borough commander Sue Williams unable to discuss that case because it is sub judice, it was for the best that around 130 people were keener to discuss problems relating to an increased perception of crime and night-time venues.

Penny Freeston, of Derby Road, brought up a recent incident in which she saw the manager of a local garage being subjected to racist abuse by a group of “well-dressed yobs”.

She said: “I was really shocked.

“The manager told me the next day a lot of criminal activity has been reported on a regular basis but nothing has been done about it.”

Speaking after the meeting, Jeanette Caine, 42, of South Woodford, spoke of her anger over her 15-year-old son’s mugging in the High Road last year.

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She said: “Nearly all his friends have been mugged.

“It hasn’t bothered him and that makes me angry, it’s like it’s acceptable.”

In a message to borough police, Mr Duncan Smith said: “People like to see you about and feel that you are approachable.

“They really want to know that you are there for them.”

Det Ch Supt Williams said officers went on single patrol in the area, except in special circumstances, and defended the force’s record in bringing down burglaries across Redbridge.

A Broomhill Road resident asked the panel why the Funky Mojoes nightclub in High Road, South Woodford, was allowed late opening hours.

Discussing general licensing laws, Redbridge Council leader Keith Prince said it would be looking closely at legislation being brought in by the coalition government.