Run-down property being used as ‘crack’ house poses danger to people

Open letter to Tower Hamlets Council’s Health & Safety team... Community leaders and religious members from St Paul’s Shadwell, the Darul Ummah Mosque and other East London organisations gathered a few weeks ago to review issues of street safety in Whitechapel and Shadwell.

Some 50 individuals were involved, the first in a series of planned activities with The East London Community Organisation involving organisations seeking to identify and resolve issues of street safety.

As part of this action, a property at 45 Cavell Street in Whitechapel was identified which is in significant disrepair and has been used as a crack house. Exposed glass, nails and sharp edges were found at street level, as well as a large hole in the building acting as an access point.

The property has been in disrepair for a number of months, and the organisations taking part and residents agree that the state of the building is unacceptable.

We had emailed councillors Rania Khan, Alibor Choudhury and Rabina Khan on April 3 expressing our concern and requesting the council to respond to this, but have not yet had an acceptable response.

This letter requests immediate action from the council’s Health & Safety unit to rectify the disrepair, close off all possible entrances and make sure there is no danger to passers-by.

Organisations taking part in this safety review are also trying to contact the landlord to explore the possibility of selling it. Councillors have also been contacted to explore options for either a Compulsory Purchase order or a timely sale and redevelopment.

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These discussions for a long-term resolution to the disrepair of 45 Cavell Street will continue in the coming months.

But a timely response to the request for Health & Safety intervention is requested—specifically that the building is made safe and secure before the school holidays begin, which would mean action on or before July 18.

Jude Padfield, Ordinand, St Paul’s Shadwell

Nurul Ullah

Project Director, Darul Ummah

On behalf of the East London Mosque, Salvation Army, St Paul’s Church, St Mary’s Church, Tower Hamlets Unison, Islamic Forum Europe, London Buddhist Centre, Queen Mary University Students’ Union and geography department, London Metropolitan University, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Our Lady & St Katherine Church, Stepney Green Maths & Computing College, New Testament Church of God, Central Foundation Girls School, Bow Boys Secondary, George Green’s Secondary, Langdon Park Secondary, Muslimaat, Royal London Unison, Ebrahim Community College, Victory Outreach Church, Poplar Harca housing association, Praxis, Quaker Social Action and Darul Ummah Centre


112 Cavell Street