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Red card for the residents trying to combat crime

PUBLISHED: 16:03 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 07 September 2010

BESIEGED residents on a Camden Town estate say they are being held back by crazy political correctness. People living on the St Pancras Way Estate are fed up with youths from other areas gathering outside their homes and causing trouble.

Ben McPartland

BESIEGED residents on a Camden Town estate say they are being held back by "crazy" political correctness.

People living on the St Pancras Way Estate are fed up with youths from other areas gathering outside their homes and causing trouble.

They designed postcards to tell fellow residents about a dispersal zone being enforced by Camden Council and police but the 'Get Your Estate Back' card was snubbed by both agencies because of the language it contained.

Both authorities refused to have their logos on it and residents were left to foot the bill of producing the card themselves.

"The police seemed concerned that the words implied a failure on their part, while the council objected to the word "gangs" because they were worried that it might be politically incorrect to describe marauding youths causing mayhem as such, which is crazy," said one member of the Cantelowes Safer Neighbourhoods Panel.

"All efforts by ordinary people to fight crime should be supported wholehearted by the authorities and on this occasion I felt the people were badly let down."

People living on the estate are also waiting for improvements promised to them since September, including new gates to block rat runs and the removal of a pipe which one resident said had been used to store a gun.

Camden's community safety chief Cllr Ben Rawlings said: "There were some issues around the wording and the design which we wanted to resolve but we didn't have the time to do that.

"If their message was for the res-idents it referred to some problems we were not aware of so we ran the risk of increasing people's fear.

"We fully support encouraging residents to play their part and we will look at their suggestions in the future."

A police spokesman said: "We recognise that wording should be clear and concise, without police jargon, but also believe wording should be inoffensive and accurate.

"It was felt that the style and wording of the publication did not fully describe the police concerns of the area and could have in fact have brought fear to the residents unnecessarily."

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk

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