Update on policing in West Ealing

Dean Gardens– Action Group update

We reported, in September, on the first Joint Action Group meeting held to coordinate the response of the Police, Council and other local agencies to the incidents involving the young night-time group that is new to this area. Now, a third but totally unconnected incident has occurred in the small hours of the morning on Wednesday 19th October.  As the second, follow-up, JAG meeting was already scheduled for today, this latest incident was included on the agenda. This note summarises the overall situation and the main outcomes of the meeting for the local community.

Fundamentally, West Ealing is part of a residential area, not a centre for ‘gang behaviour’ or any other illegal activity.  Already, during the daytime the park is busy with families, many enjoying the children’s facilities.  The situation at night is also improving, particularly at weekends.

The increased police resources on the ground have already had a positive effect.  Their numbers will be even higher this weekend with the aim of further increasing visible law enforcement.  Nothing is being left to chance and residents will be very pleased to hear that the police are, and will be, taking a very firm stance.  The work of the plain clothes and SNT officers gathering intelligence is continuing in parallel to this.  The latest incident is being investigated by a special dedicated police unit.

As planned, the Council, Fire Brigade and Police have started their coordinated review of commercial premises in the area to ensure that licensing, planning and food health and safety legislation is being strictly enforced.  Local Shisha and Khat café outlets are a particular focus, and already we are delighted that operators are cooperating by signing a Responsible Retailer Agreement.  This is a key first step in the drive to minimise any local ‘under the counter’ sales. Again, in parallel, local outreach organisations such as St Mungo’s and Ealing
Council Adult and Children’s Services are also involved to help cushion any impact on the genuinely homeless and disadvantaged.

In summary – progress has already been achieved.  The recent incident is unconnected with the past pattern and is being investigated very thoroughly.  We can all continue to 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 additional queries, you can contact our local Walpole Police SNT on 020 8721 2949

Thank you.

Patrick Chapman, Walpole SNT Focus Panel

21st October 2011

8 Replies to “Update on policing in West Ealing”

  1. I’m sure all West Ealing residents are pleased that law and order efforts are been made to reduce the level of crime in Dean Gardens. However perhaps some of the crimes and problems are somewhat intractable and are symptoms of society at large as opposed to West Ealing society.

    Also Dean Gardens is the only fenced park adjacent to the Uxbridge Road in the area – with Southall Park away to the west and Acton Park over two miles to the east. It provides a convenient, not uncomfortable, but somewhat hidden area for groups to gather in the darkness. I suspect that if things do not improve consistently over time it will be necessary to lock the gates at nightfall and re-open them at daybreak.

    However it does occur to me that Ealing Common is directly adjacent to the Uxbridge Road and is unfenced. I’m not aware of regular serous crimes on the Common. I know we are not comparing like with like but just what would be the effect of removing the fencing from around Dean Gardens. Similarly just what purpose does the fencing currently provide? Does anyone know whether Dean Gardens was locked overnight in the past?

  2. Eric with the fencing comes a fair few trees and shrubs that border the fence. Ealing Common, whilst it has trees they are at the outer edges of the common, therefore leaving it very open. I think if fencing was looked at then the trees and shrubs would also need to be looked at too. In terms of locking the gates at night this is done in Walpole Park, not sure about Lammas but again I don’t recall serious night time incidents in either of these parks.

  3. Good logical points Diane.

    However Haven Green is not fenced but it is very well lit. To be fair it is visible form all sides and Dean Gardens is not visible from the south side and is not particularly well lit.

    We have also discussed the fact that there are two shops very close to Dean Gardens where alcohol is on sale 24 hours.

    People tell me that locking the gates at Walpole Park overnight doesn’t discourage everyone and some folks just climb in over the fencing.

  4. Yes I definitely think lighting is a big issue, I can’t remember if there is CCTV too? If then it needs it. Your right on the alcohol license, I think if a causal link was found between crime and alcohol those licenses should be at least limited to specific hours.

  5. I would hate for the fences to come down! I’ll chain myself to them first. I’d rather see the park locked at night. In the daytime, when most people use the park, the fences are a safety feature stopping kids from running out onto the street and deterring strangers from coming in. Can we please keep something in West Ealing from the past? Must the neighbourhood lose one of its best features because a few people do the wrong thing?

    1. Allen,

      Interesting points.

      There is fencing around the play area already.

      ‘Deterring strangers from coming in’ is an odd comment to make. If strangers want to enter the park there are plenty of entrances for them to use. And it is common land after all.

      I think the main reason for the fencing is along with the locked gates to make it relatively inaccessible during darkness.

      1. The fence acts as a barrier between the street and the park – someone can’t walk through a fence opportunistically and hassle people – they have to make that choice. The children aren’t limited to the play area with the swings, a relatively tiny area of the park – they play football and run around in the general area. If the fence stops one child running after a ball onto the road, it does a good job. I like the physical separation of the streetscape (cars speeding by) from the green of the park. If we didn’t live in a world full of people who “do the wrong thing”, the fence would have greenery (hedges/big shrubs) around the inside to create even more separation from the street. I enjoyed watching classic music being performed in a park/square like this somewhere in Dublin a while ago and it was a special, beautiful place.There is so little beauty in our urban setting, especially along the Uxbridge Road in West Ealing. I’m sick of design being driven by a desire to be criminal proof. Just look at the design of public phone kiosks, seats at bus stops, train station waiting rooms, boulders at park entrances – uncomfortable and unattractive. Our park should be gated, a ranger should clear it out before locking it, but the interior should be beautified and large plants should be grown on the inside of the fence to screen out the street noise and petrol fumes.

  6. For as long as I have lived and worked in west ealing (over 30 years) there have always been street drinkers and the like in Deans Gardens, I dont think its the off licenses that are a problem (some may say I have a vested interest) but the policing of the area and basically closing the park at night. All the other parks are closed in the borough after a certain time so i dont know why the gardens are left open. This would greatly reduce the incidents of antisocial behaviour in the area. I have noticed over the last month a greater number of night patrols and a firmer resolve to deal with drunks and troublemakers by the safer neighbourhoods teams, this has made a major difference.
    The fence does make the park safer for families and young kids during the day so removing them would just be counterproductive.

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