|Raid on Woodger Rd W12|
I wasn’t able to give you the exact address at the time of my initial report for fear of prejudicing any court action but I can now reveal that number 32 Woodger Road W12, which was raided under a drugs warrant, has been closed for three months under an Anti Social Behaviour order.
What most struck me about being on that raid was the very obvious state of intimidation that other people living on that small cul de sac were quite clearly under, with one man hesitating and looking both ways before giving me the thumbs up sign at the sight of the police taking action against these people.
In that situation the police’s job, if they are to be successful, is to be sensitive and win over people’s confidence as much as play the tough guy and brutally charge down doors, before sitting on the bad guys while the cuffs go on. I saw both. And the court case this week duly heard from a number of anonymous witness statements from neighbours, which formed part of the Met’s case against this property.
The venue has now been completely sealed and is in the possession of the police. The Safer Neighbourhood Team are at present assisting the the housing provider to gain possession of the venue from the tenants at another court hearing which will happen in the near future. But all of that is process – the main thing which will have transformed the lives of the people living on that side street in the Bush is that these neighbours from hell are gone.
You have to hope, for good.
Very many congratulations to the team – you have to worry, though, at how we will cope when they are gone once Boris and his Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh have swung the axe. It is now no longer denied that these teams are at risk of disbandment with even the police stations themselves being sold off - despite the Deputy Mayor's farcical attempts to obfuscate. In our case that would mean five years of getting to know the local community and quietly changing people’s lives like this would be gone. Quite a price to pay.