27 October 2007

Upper Brockley Road

At last the Mayor has listened to both myself and local people about the problems experienced by residents in & around The Parade on Upper Brockley Road.

For the record I have put questions down for the Mayor (although his Champion for Community Safety, Cllr Crada Onuegbu has formally answered) in September 2006, May 2007 and finally in October 2007. Betweeen those questions I have assisted local people in gaining proper access to Lewisham's anti-social behaviour & crime reduction teams and ensuring that the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (through close liaison with PC Ty Taylor) are aware of the issue and take appropriate action.

The response we had however was a generally a piecemeal collection of individual departments dressed up as a 'strategy' - and as a result there has been no long term solution.

One of the key proposals made in 2007 was a Dispersal Zone, it had the informal support of some of Lewisham's officers but was firmly rejected by Cllr Onuegbu. Apparently many of those causing the trouble lived in the local area and therefore it would be difficult to police - however it is clear that many many of the people travel from outside of Brockley to come here - and this is supported by the checks on the cars coming into Upper Brockley Road!

During the summer we had a 'week of action' - a bus stuffed full of police officers and leaflets. Officially this was an attempt to 'engage' with the people causing the problems. However Lewisham Council's officers either failed to turn up to support the Police or even leave the bus to 'engage'. Recent events on the Parade confirm that it was only the appalling weather that gave the residents some respite from the harassment it seems that little 'engagement' actually took place!

Now that the Mayor has decided to take a personal interest in the issue (I think this is because Labour leaflets distributed along Upper Brockley Road which highlighted crime as a key issue in the run-up to the non-election caused a bit of a fuss amongst local residents) I wonder what role there is now for Cllr Crada Onuegbu?

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