John Nicholson from Raglan Street has been attending the Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhoods meetings for IARA and this is his report for February 2007:
??I attended this meeting again on Wednesday 7 February, as did Dominic. Unfortunately the meeting still lacked focus and drifted somewhat.??
??The meeting included a presentation from Camden Detached Project who use youth workers to engage young people on the streets on projects, provide skills and advice. Helpful to know it exists and Peter Ryan has links with them.??
??The main item was essentially to agree or re-agree the priorities for Peter Ryan’s Team. As it has only been 2 months since we agreed the first set of priorities it made sense to keep with them for the time being as well as to keep the interim Chair.??
??If you recall the priorities they were:??
?? Youth anti-social behaviour, Torriano Avenue area??
?? Anti-social behaviour, HighgateRoad/Fortess Road area??
??Peter Ryan produced some interesting figures on burglary. In 2006 the most burgled wards in Camden were Cantelowes and Kentish Town. Kentish Town had 204 burglary offences recorded in 2006 and he aims for his team to reduce this by half in 2007. In the last 2 weeks there have been no burglaries in Kentish Town ward.??
??The peak times for burglaries are 3-8pm and small peak at 2-3am. The team have altered their shift patterns to work with this. The peak area for burglaries in the ward is around Torriano estate, top end of Leighton road, Charlton Kings Road and Torriano Avenue. Most likely property to be burgled are basement flats and private homes with glazed big sash windows at front, especially if partly hidden by shrubbery etc.??
??The most common items taken are laptops, electrical equipment. Burglary usually involves a gang of white boys and girls aged 15-22 ish who smash the window, pile in en masse and are out very quickly.??
??The team have been targeting The Church on Sundays at closing time with some apparent success. In the last 2 weeks as well as confiscating alcohol they have made 2 arrests, 1 for urinating in the bins and 1 for running naked up Highgate Road. The representative from the residents association closest to the Church said things were much improved in recent weeks. The question remains for me as to whether we should be questioning allowing a club of this nature in a highly residential area.??
??For the moment I think it was appropriate to maintain the priority areas and see how it goes in another 2 months. Clearly if IARA wished to push other priorities we need to know before the next meeting which is planned for 4 April.??
??Hopefully the meetings will get better focused as we move forward but inevitably there is still a tendency to let people ‘sound off’ which requires a firmer hand from the chair.??