Troubled Highbury estate now on 48-hour lockdown
PUBLISHED: 10:33 19 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:49 19 February 2015
Police use new powers after motorbike yobs terrorise residents
An entire estate is on lock down for 48 in a bid to stop a group of motorbike yobs terrorising residents.
People on the Highbury Quadrant Estate, off Catherall Road, Highbury, have been victimised by a gang of teenage hoodlums driving stolen mopeds, burning the bikes, taking drugs and breaking into homes.
A pizza delivery boy has been stabbed, Christmas trees torched and teenagers on the run from police helicopters in the chaos that’s blighted the lives of residents.
But from yesterday lunchtime until tomorrow, a dispersal order is in place which means police can ask anyone to leave the area if they are evne suspected of harassing or intimidating people on the estate, or causing any kind crime and disorder.
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We’re really pleased it’s coming in but, it doesn’t go far enough.
“These boys come here, steal mopeds, drive them round the estate with no fear of anyone. Then they set fire to them, which puts people’s live in danger.
“They set fire to bins, they burnt our Christmas trees, they broke into one woman’s bedsit and terrified her.
“There are yobs - I don’t know what else to call them.
“There’s vandalism, they sit around smoking cannabis, older residents are scared of them.
“Police chases and getting arrested - they’re like badges of honour to them.
“To be fair, there is nothing for them to do - all the youth centre’s have been closed.
“But I’ve been living here since the 70’s and I’ve never know anything like this.
“People feel very strongly and something needs to be done.
“It used to be a lovely estate, but they’ve turned it into a ghetto.”
Local resident and chair of the Highbury East Police Panel Terry Stacy said “Anti-social behaviour has been getting out of control in the area, so we are delighted that the police and council reacting to residents’ concerns.”
Under new police powers, the dispersal order can be put in place by a police inspector, rather than a magistrate.
If a suspect is under 16, police can take them home, or to a place of safety.
Richard Padwell, Inspector for Islington East Cluster Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “There has been a lot of antisocial behaviour and crime around mopeds on the estate.
“We’ve arrested a number of people and I’m pleased dot say it has reduced.
“People been banned from the area, we are working with the local authority towards possible injunctions and eviction notices.
“But this is Key priority for cluster, and we won’t be complacent. That’s why we have brought in the dispersal zone.
“If needs be, we will bring one in again and again, often without warning.”
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