‘My kids are too scared to go out’: Council leader confronted over drugs and gangs on the Shearling Way Estate

Cllr Richard Watts takes questions on Shearling Way Estate at Leader Question Time in Holloway. Pict

Cllr Richard Watts takes questions on Shearling Way Estate at Leader Question Time in Holloway. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have pleaded for help with “squatting, drug dealing and gangs” on their Cally estate.

People on the Shearling Way estate and surrounding areas raised their concerns at Leader’s Question Time at the Goodinge Community Centre on Monday last week.

Cllr Watts and Holloway cops took note of the issues, but insisted action is already being taken to make the area safer.

One woman, who lives on the estate but didn’t give her name, complained she is living in proximity to a “live crack house”.

“I chase them off the stairs,” she said. “My kids walk past it – they are jacking up in the car park out front.

“My kids go: ‘Mum, don’t get involved,’ but I don’t want them seeing it.”

A mother of three, who lives in Ewe Close, later added: “Because of the gangs my kids are scared to go out and they are constantly at home.

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“They used to go play but now they are scared.”

Another neighbour, who preferred not to be named, complained about “gangs of men” sitting on the wall at the entrance to Cally Park.

He said: “We have a huge gang problem on the estate and have had several stabbings – nothing seems to be done about it.”

Cllr Watts said: “We are completely aware of the issues around Shearling Road. I am not in denial about the problems on the estate.”

He stressed “quite a lot has been done” to combat crime in the area, including a “major raid on the Hyde Park Estate” and several convictions.

The council chief later said: “I completely appreciate how difficult this is if you have kids having this stuff going on outside your front door.

“There is a lot of stuff we can’t talk about going on around criminal operations.”

Another attendee said: “The elderly are too frightened to come out at night. They don’t feel safe walking from Shearling Way here [to the centre}.”

Cllr Watts said additional CCTV and Parkguard are also being used to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area.

But one neighbour noted: “Gangs are not frightened of them [park guards].”

The council leader said a combination of youth outreach work and “heavy-handed policing” is happening to tackle the problems.

Have you been affected by gangs and antisocial behaviour on the Shearling Way Estate? Contact Lucas at the Gazette newsdesk on 020 7433 0121 or lucas.cumiskey@archant,co.uk