Wapping residents plan to use private security to tackle anti-social behaviour

Zamir Crouch is concerned about the lack of security in the area he lives in Wapping and is setting

Zamir Crouch is concerned about the lack of security in the area he lives in Wapping and is setting up his own security company with other residents. - Credit: Archant

Residents in Wapping are planning to hire a private security firm to fight anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood claiming they have had an ‘inept’ response from the authorities.

Keep Wapping Safe (KWS), a neighbourhood group which is made locals, will launch a crowd fundraiser to pay for the extra security.

Zamir Crouch, 44, of Wapping High Street, who is one of the founders KWS, said: “We’re finding that the police aren’t resolving these issues satisfactorily and the council don’t seem to have a coherent plan and when they do put something in place it seems pretty inept.”

According to the latest police figures crime levels in the area have increased by 22 per cent between 2016 and 2018.

The extra could see households paying as much as £120 per month on top of their existing council tax.

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Although private security is often association with areas such as Belgravia and Hampstead, similar schemes have been set up in Tower Hamlets.

Residents of housing association, Tower Hamlets Homes, have their own dedicated unit fighting anti-social behaviour.

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Zamir, who runs a computer company, was physically threatened in September last but after reporting it to the police he was later told the case had been dropped.

He said. “The police have become a statistics collecting organisation rather than a law enforcement one.”

Kirsty Finlayson, 28, a lawyer who lives on Wapping Wall, said: “There’s lots of anti-social behaviour and it’s getting much, much worse.

“Increasingly people are coming from outside of Tower Hamlets to commit crime

“I think the reason behind this is because Wapping doesn’t have the police presence or CCTV so people are choosing to come to the area because they know they are unlikely to be caught.“

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We’ve lost more than 200 police officers since 2010 due to government cuts.

“Some residents are hoping to encourage users and drug dealers to move on from their streets and we share their concerns, but without proper supervision and guidance there are risks if they take this into their own hands, and I am against vigilantism.”

When the Advertiser contacted the Met Police for a comment we were told to contact the borough’s police who failed to respond.

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