New security measures planned for crime-ravaged Clerkenwell estate
12:03 24 July 2014
Security on an estate is to be stepped up after a series of violent incidents led to claims “bullets are flying in the streets of Clerkenwell”.
The Triangle Estate, on the crossroads of Percival Street, Goswell Road and Lever Street, has become one of borough’s new crime hot spots and is apparently a favourite among drug dealers, due to almost 20 different entrances and no CCTV.
Gangs from neighbouring boroughs are thought to be muscling in on the drug market, leading to a turf war.
Violence exploded during one week last month, firstly when a man was stabbed and shocked witnesses described blood-soaked clothing and riot police in the streets. A 17-year-old was arrested.
And just days before, a bullet flew through a family’s front room during a suspected gangland shooting. Added to another shooting just yards away in December and an “unnatural amount of youth activity” in the area and residents are getting worried.
George Allen, former councillor for Clerkenwell ward, said: “If bullets are flying in the streets of Clerkenwell, and people are at risk while sitting in their own homes shouldn’t we at least know the facts?
“I think we accept that there can be operational reasons why the police may want to play down their activity while investigations, raids and arrests are in progress. Or maybe they are trying to suppress tit-for-tat retaliations. But what we‘re beginning to see here is a pattern of denial.
“It became clear to me when canvassing all over Clerkenwell for a year before the elections that there is drug dealing going on virtually everywhere. “People would tell us about it on the doorsteps.
One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It flares up and then stops for a while.
“There have been these two in a row and now it seems quiet again.
“I think it’s gangs from outside the borough, that’s what people are saying.
“All the kids I know have disappeared from the area. I don’t if they are in prison or what.”
Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We are the first to recognise this is one of the worst designed estates in borough.
“We are looking very closely at a series of possible security measures which will be in place very soon. We will put in CCTV, step up patrols and so on.
“But we don’t want the people to feel like they are living in a fortress.
“It is a definite hot spot in the borough and receives a lot of attention and there have been a couple of troubling incidents recently, as well as people dealing drugs.
Det Chf Sup Gerry Campbell, Islington’s most senior policeman, said: “There are a lot of different motivations that drive crime in the area.
“Some of it could be connected with drugs trade, but I am not saying it definitely is.
“We are very much looking at what is driving it and are working with specialist teams from Scotland Yard to crack down on gangs, the drug trade and organised crime in general.”