Love Finsbury Park: new campaign to tackle organised crime
Hackney, Islington and Haringey Council have joined forces with the Met Police on a new cross-border initiative to tackle organised crime in the Finsbury Park area.
Residents said they felt unsafe in specific locations, such as Blackstock Road, and that anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, theft, and sexual offending were their biggest concerns.
Focusing on this area, it uses a three-step “Clear, Hold, Build” approach to remove criminal activity, prevent other organised crime groups moving into this space, and work with the local community to make the area safer by improving public spaces.
This three-phase approach has been tested in seven locations identified as crime “hotspots” across England and Wales, such as Grahame Park estate in Barnet, with promising results.
During the initial “Clear” phase in December, Police officers executed three warrants at business premises suspected to be involved in drug dealing and made seven arrests.
The campaign is now entering the next two phases, which will see the Hackney, Islington and Haringey Council’s work in partnership with the community and local agencies to address the underlying factors that can lead to crime.
Hackney Council has begun by increasing the number of CCTV cameras, increasing its enforcement officer patrols and clearing up areas - like Blackstock Road - that residents said felt unsafe.
Based on feedback from the local community, who said they were concerned about street-based harassment and intimidating groups of men, the Council has also launched a number of public safety campaigns targeting these unwanted behaviours. This includes the #DontCrossTheLine campaign against harassment, new signage in the area, and a pickpocketing awareness campaign.
The project is supported by local charities such as Change Please, which helps people experiencing homelessness to secure a living wage job, housing, therapy, bank account and onward employment opportunities.
Love Finsbury Park is an innovative, community-centred, campaign which brings together partners including the Police, local authorities, and third sector organisations to really address the underlying factors that can lead to crime.
We’re committed to working with residents to understand their concerns, and make tangible improvements in the area. This might be through cleaning up the streets, improving lighting and CCTV, or by creating training, employment, and social opportunities to divert people away from becoming involved in crime.