Police probe attack, lockdown parties and apparent drug use on council site
- Credit: Eugene Lebedenko
Police have been asked to investigate after a security camera filmed an assault, illegal lockdown parties and apparent drug-taking on Haringey Council property.
The council called in the Met after the Ham&High asked questions about the video footage, shot between November and January at 141 Station Road, Wood Green – a council-owned business park.
Footage from December 20 shows three men appearing to snort drugs 15 times in front of the camera.
Another video, from New Year’s Day, shows two men dragging a third man around the site, restraining him and repeatedly punching him.
Tenant Eugene Lebedenko sent the videos to Haringey Council six months ago.
He has spent two-and-a-half years filing complaints about antisocial and illegal behaviour at the site, next door to Heartlands High School.
Instead of acting on his concerns, the council evicted him.
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In a statement, Haringey Council said: “A large amount of correspondence about the tenancy of this property has been received by the council over several years.
“It is now clear that some of those emails contained allegations of criminality and antisocial behaviour.
“Those aspects were not picked up at the time, so the appropriate action was not taken. We can only apologise for this.
“As a local authority, we are looking at the lessons that can be learned to ensure the right processes are followed in the future.”
In the meantime, however, the council is continuing in its effort to evict Mr Lebedenko.
History of Complaints
Eugene Lebedenko, who runs woodwork company Tree Work Solutions from a unit at the site, showed the Ham&High extensive correspondence between himself and Haringey Council.
He emailed the council about antisocial behaviour and consumption of “serious drugs” at the site on April 6, 2019, writing that he had already raised concerns during a site visit by council staff that January.
Days after sending the email, he reported to the council that other tenants at the site, who he felt were causing the problems, had threatened to come after him in balaclavas.
On September 20, 2019, Mr Lebedenko and another tenant had their electricity supplies cut off.
After complaining about it, they were told on September 25 that the council was commencing proceedings to evict them.
By winter 2020, Mr Lebedenko remained on site, refusing to leave – but eviction still loomed.
A council spokesman told the Ham&High last week: “We are still in contact with him about ongoing litigation.”
Amid the legal battle, Mr Lebedenko's security camera captured a series of videos of exactly the sort of behaviour he had been complaining about.
It filmed several large gatherings on the council site in November and December 2020, while London was either in lockdown, when rules only permitted meeting one other person in an outdoor setting, or under tiered restrictions permitting a maximum of six people to meet outdoors.
At one of these parties, his camera filmed men appearing to snort drugs.
In January, the camera also recorded a violent assault.
Mr Lebedenko sent the videos to the council on January 27 and again on April 8.
But no action was taken until the Ham&High raised questions in June.
A council spokesperson said: “We strongly condemn the actions depicted in these videos and the footage has now been sent to the police for them to investigate.
“We would urge anyone with evidence of criminal activity to immediately report that to the police, whose job is to investigate and deal with such actions. This can always be done anonymously via Crimestoppers.
“We expect all tenants in our commercial properties to meet the appropriate standards of behaviour.
“Where allegations are made against any individual or organisation, we will always investigate and take the right course of action.”
The Met Police confirmed it was investigating “a third-party report of an alleged assault in Station Road, N22”.
It said it was also investigating Mr Lebedenko having his electricity cut off, explaining: “It was felt by the victim that this was an intentional act to force them to leave the location.”
In both cases, the Met said: “Enquiries are ongoing.”