Youths terrorising residents on estate in Finsbury

A GANG of up to 30 youths is causing havoc on a large housing estate and terrorising the people who live there.

A large group of men in their teens and early 20s has been loitering on the Finsbury Estate, off St John Street, Finsbury, intimidating residents and making noise until the early hours of the morning.

One resident, who lives in Michael Cliffe House, claims police told him they are drug dealers who moved in after being displaced by crackdowns on the Camden border.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: “The other day I counted 32 of them. They are terrorising tenants. They turn up nearly everyday at 2pm and stay until 2am and later.

“Police officers have told me they have done lots of work on the Camden borders, and lots of people involved in drug trading have come this way.”

Gang members congregate in front of Patrick Coman House and are often seen to go into a hidden corner to pass items between one another. They have also been smashing paving slabs and racing around the estate on a stolen pizza scooter.

The Michael Cliffe resident claimed police have done little to tackle the problem. He said: “The police just say, ‘When we get here, they run away, so we can’t do anything’. But isn’t it their job to catch people?”

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Sharon Hayward, secretary of the Finsbury Estate Tenants and Residents Association, blamed a lack of youth centres in the area. “There have been problems and there is some drug dealing going on. It can go on until 3am in the morning.

“We have a problem with a lack of facilities for young people in the area. The resources need to be there to provide things for young people.

“The police could and should be doing more.”

An Islington Police spokeswoman said: “Islington Police officers have been working with Islington Council and Homes for Islington to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Finsbury Estate and surrounding area for several months.

“Since December 2010, officers have identified several suspects, held proactive operations, arrested and charged seven people for drug offences and applied for a number of ASBOs, which are still pending. Officers regularly patrol the estate and surrounding area at targeted times, and police officers would always respond to emergency calls.

“All of this work is part of a long term problem solving approach to reduce incidents of disorder on the estate as effectively as possible.”