Nitrous Balloon Losers

clegg 1Excuse the title of this article but I am feeling both exasperated and full of disdain…!

Returning home on Saturday night, I found the usual detritus of nitrous balloon losers right by my door. Clearly they had had another crazy, rock’n’roll evening…you almost feel sorry for people whose idea of fun is to sit in a hired sports car and suck a thirty second high from weeny little gas canisters that Mary Berry might otherwise use to whip cream for a flan.

Then I am greeted today by several emails from similarly exasperated residents who tell me that Sunday night was race track night, and these guys spent several hours zooming round and round and round before hanging out on the street and making a total racket, just like the average user of a Rolls Royce or Lamborghini.

Anyway, I thought I’d just update residents on some of the work I’ve done these issues:

- Raised boy racing and ASB in full council via a tabled question and motion, and in person with the Mayor. Also grilled the Borough Commander, Sue Williams, at Overview & Scrutiny Committee about how to improve Tower Hamlets’ response to ASB.

- Two meetings last week with our ward policing team and our Borough Police Commander, Sue. I told the Borough Commander that I have growing concerns about the level of unchecked anti-social behaviour in our ward and am worried about the perception that Wapping is a good place for groups of young guys to come and deal drugs, take drugs, race hired cars and hang out away from the eyes of parents and police.

- Regular evidence collection via pictures to council and emails to police about negative activity that I witness in the ward. This includes reporting problem cars, nitrous litter and graffiti – I have this week reported the LADZ tag that has been plastered across our ward in the last fortnight.

- In process of organising a meeting with Borough Commander to come to Wapping together with various agencies inc council and Tower Hamlets Homes to try to pull together a much better response to ASB of all kinds for residents.

- discussed the speeding issue with Borough Commander. She thinks she might be able to get a team of Specials down to do some night time enforcement activity to send the message out. We might also be able to get a community speed gun and I asked about the possibility of 20mph speed cameras. She seemed to think that police cameras can’t enforce non-national speed limits and that the council must install any cameras for 20mph limits. So I’ve just asked the council whether this the case and if they would consider installing 20mph cameras or other traffic calming measures on Wapping Lane and Wapping High Street (perhaps outside the station in particular) like those on Westferry Road.

- As I say, I also met the local ward policing team last Monday evening to raise the boy racer and drug issues with them. They said the traffic enforcement team of Jak Bentley had been down quite recently but had failed to catch anybody. I have asked whether we can have another enforcement operation. I think these guys hire these supercars so I believe police can check them off a database and if they find a vehicle is hired, contact the leasing agent to ensure they can’t hire again.

- Inadvertently appeared in the Evening Standard after the recent crash in the ward – I guess it helps raise the profile of these problems, and that can only be good in terms of getting us the resource we need.

 I’ll continue to post updates of my work online so that residents are kept informed. I can only reassure you that I am trying my very best. Ultimately I haven’t the executive power of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets or the official responsibility over the Met, which goes to the Mayor of London and therefore is something our Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai, has more say over.

Over and out. Now I’m going to eat my roast chicken dinner!

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