Crackdown on masked mob terrorising Caledonian Road

AN OUT-OF-CONTROL mob who are throwing missiles at police and openly taking drugs have been banned from hanging around on one of Islington’s most crime-ridden estates.

Up to 30 youths have been abusing residents and smashing up vehicles and property on the Bemerton Estate, off Caledonian Road, Islington - even though none of them are believed to live there.

Now the police and Islington Council have put in a three-month dispersal order - which means they could face punishment if they congregate in groups of more than two to cause trouble.

As well as the Bemerton, the order covers surrounding roads including Bingfield Street, Pembroke Street, Caledonian Road, Huntingdon Street, Hemingford and Copenhagen Road - and will run until May 17, to include the Easter, Royal Wedding and early May bank holidays, which traditionally are hotspots for trouble.

Councillor Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Bemerton residents are fed up with the persistent problems caused by youths who do not live on the estate.

“The type of group disorder we have seen is often a forerunner to organised criminal networks so it’s important we nip it in the bud.

“We are standing with residents to help make the estate a place to enjoy in peace and safety.”

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Bemerton residents are currently being consulted on a potential redevelopment of the estate, with one of the proposals including a complete demolition and rebuild along the lines of the Market Estate, in Holloway, and Packington Estate, in Islington.

Any new plans would involve the “designing out” crime, but at the moment residents are having to live with the misery of masked and hooded youths running amok.

Sergeant Mike Atkinson, from Caledonian Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: “The dispersal zone gives police additional powers to deal with young people causing anti-social behaviour.

“The residents of the Bemerton Estate have been suffering from youth disorder and I hope that this power will reduce anti-social behaviour considerably.”

Youths breaking the terms of the order could face ASBOs, Anti-social Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) or injunctions.