Gang crime crackdown in Althorne Way, Dagenham is a success, say police
After two years of intensive policing, a road blighted by drugs, firearms, robberies and intimidating gangs has seen a drastic improvement, claim officers.
Heath Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) say Althorne Way in Dagenham, has been largely freed of gang-related crime and anti-social behaviour following regular police patrols, more than 100 arrests and three ASBOs.
Speaking to the Post last week, some residents said the area felt a little safer since the extra policing was put in to force but one woman, Steph Preston, claimed the problems have increased over the past couple of years.
The 20-year-old said: “There are lots of fights still and a gang that hang around near the shops. I still don’t feel safe. The police need to do more.”
In 2009 the street was listed as a Safer Neighbourhood policing priority due to gang activity, drugs and anti-social behaviour.
In October that year, following information from residents, a police search of the area was carried out and five firearms were found along with ammunition and a large quantity of drugs in the communal storage areas of the flats.
More than 20 gang members persistently loitered in the area intimidating residents, openly dealing and using drugs.
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Officers formulated a policing plan which saw plain clothed and highly visible officers patrol the area on a regular basis, resulting in more than 100 arrests in two and half years.
Three ASBOs were also issued to key members of a gang.
Sgt for Heath SNT, Rob Simmonds, said: “At one point this group appeared to believe they were untouchable. It has taken in excess of two years, but no-one is exempt from the law.”
Resident Oliver Malcolm, 39, said the area had seen a improvement since the police crackdown began: “For a while there were a lot of young people loitering around and causing a nuisance but it’s better now. I think the police have made a difference.”