Dogging still a risk as council has not fixed broken gate for vulnerable Dagenham residents

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:57 13 August 2019

The gate on Mitchell Close before a visit by the council on June 25. Picture: Luke Acton.

The gate on Mitchell Close before a visit by the council on June 25. Picture: Luke Acton.


A faulty gate that has allegedly left vulnerable residents exposed to dogging and public defecation is still broken, according to the people who live there.

Mitchell Close in Dagenham is a council-owned single-floor development designed specifically for the elderly and disabled.

An electronic gate was in place to stop just anyone going down the dead-end road, but was reported broken to the council on June 11.

Workers visited later that month, soon after a reporter from this paper. They released the gate, which had been stuck ajar, and put a chain and lock on it.

That lock and chain were stolen within 24 hours, the residents said.

In the nine weeks since the gate broke, the residents said they have been left dealing with persistent strangers on a road that is meant to keep the most vulnerable safe.

Val Scully is 75 and lives in Mitchell Close, She said her granddaughter, 11, was playing outside when she saw a man urinating. She returned to her grandmother almost in tears.

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"When they're going to be done with the repairs we don't know," Val said. "We haven't got a clue.

"We've just sort of given up, because there's not much we can do about it."

She has written to Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge about the issue, who got in touch with the council.

In response, the council said in a letter the initial delay was down to a problem with the IT system. The communal address of the new build was not yet in its computers.

It added: "We accept that this is a service failure on our part and should have been actioned regardless."

A spokesman for the council said it understands residents are concerned about security and is keen to fix the gate as soon as possible.

He said the parts needed to fix the gate are no longer made, so the gate manufacturers are upgrading it with a new one, adding: "The parts for which will take a few weeks to arrive."

Commenting on the lock and chain as a temporary measure, he said the council will fit another one and see if it can weld the chain to the gate.

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