In the past five weeks we have had two major incidents in the Dean Gardens area. These incidents came as a surprise, as the number of local problems has actually been slowly decreasing. However, the Police, Council and other local agencies have joined together with the aim of eradicating such serious incidents from the area. A JAG meeting (Joint Action Group) was convened on 16th September by the Walpole Safer Neighbourhood Team on behalf of Ealing Police. This note summarises the main outcomes for the local community.
It is now clear that the ‘troublemakers’ in Dean Gardens have changed over recent months. In the past the same known people frequented the area, day and night. We now have two entirely different groups. In particular, at night, we have a younger group – understood to be predominantly Somali – converging on West Ealing, probably as it is convenient, central to their homes, well served by buses and has a ready supply of alcohol off-sales, Shisha and Khat café outlets.
As a direct response to the recent incidents, the police have increased their resources on the ground – 24/7. It is quite likely that residents will see rapid response units and other centralised specialist units being called in at any time of the night and day to support our local teams. The aim is to increase visible law enforcement. In addition there is an increase in the number of plain clothes officers gathering intelligence, as nobody quite understands who these young people are and why they want to be in West Ealing during the night.
As a result of the JAG, the Council, Fire Brigade and Police will be coordinating their work in the area to ensure that licensing, planning and food health and safety legislation is being strictly enforced. This should help minimise any local ‘under the counter’ sales of alcohol and squeeze the availability of Shisha and Khat, neither of which are controlled substances in this country.
Everyone appreciates that a clamp down inWest Ealing is likely to move the problem to other areas and therefore local outreach organisations such as St Mungo’s and Ealing Council Adult and Children’s Services are also involved to help cushion the impact on the genuinely homeless and disadvantaged.
In summary – everyone at the JAG agreed that the current night-time situation must change. West Ealing is part of a residential area, not a centre for ‘gang behaviour’. And with this in mind, everyone in the area can help. If you are aware of any anti-social behaviour or drug related incident, you can report it by ringing 101 (this number is for all calls to the police other than emergencies – for which please ring 999). 101 will get you through to the Metropolitan Police who will pass the details to a duty officer in Ealing for collation by our intelligence team.
If you have any queries, you can contact our local Walpole Police SNT on 020 8721 2949
Patrick RR Chapman
Chairman, Walpole Ward SNT Focus Group Panel