Improvements seen on Dagenham anti-social behaviour ‘hotspot’ estate following police patrols

An Dagenham housing estate previously described as a “hotspot” for anti-social behaviour (ASB) has seen “some improvements” to it following a wave of police patrols, a senior officer has said.

Millard Terrace in Dagenham Heathway was subject to a closure order in December last year after Barking and Dagenham Council made an applicant to the courts after residents raised concerns about ASB and crime.

Concerned residents had previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that life on the estate was “depressing” and were too scared to use the lifts and dump rubbish in the refuse room because drug addicts had been using them as a toilet.

When the closure order was implemented in December 2022, police officers had extra powers to arrest anyone hanging around Millard Terrace “without a reasonable excuse” under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

On Wednesday August 23, Superintendent for Barking and Dagenham, David Rhodes, told the LDRS that there has since been “some improvements” and that the closure order had a “real impact” on the estate.

Supt Rhodes said: “There has been some improvements [on the estate] and it had some real impact around there but because that closure order has expired, the real challenges for my teams are making sure we don’t let it revert.

“Whenever we take action, we’ve got to have an exit strategy, the enforcement side of it is great but we’ve got to make sure we’ve got that prevention side as part of the plan.”

Supt Rhodes along with Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe met with Barking and Dagenham residents and community groups on Wednesday to discuss the Met’s new policing plan and what the local priorities are for the borough.

Supt Rhodes told the LDRS: “In relation to youth violence, knife crime and robbery, there are some real challenges around that.

“Some of that focus is around our town centres, some of that focus is around our transport hubs, so it’s about making sure we’re working with our partners  because we’re not going to solve it alone.”

He added: “The other part of that for me is about making sure we’ve got the right staff in there.

“There are some challenges in those areas but we’re aware of the problems, we’re listening. It’s not about us just looking at our data, part of [tonight’s event] is about what we need to do going forward, listening to resident’s concerns and acting appropriately.”

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Ruby Gregory

Local Democracy Reporter