Trouble on the Eltham Park Estate

Over the last year, your Eltham North Councillors have received an increased number of complaints about the behaviour of various youths on the Eltham Park Estate.  The focus for their misbehaviour appeared to be the parade of shops containing Costcutter’s. 

 

Initially, Cllr Dermot Poston (pictured right) presented a petition to Council on the issue and before Christmas Cllr Spencer Drury (left) and several residents attended a licensing meeting to object to a further licence being granted to the shop at 148 Westmount Road.  Unfortunately, the objection was rejected despite the problems residents were experiencing and the existence of a covenant against the sale of alcohol. 

Legal opinion on the way in which the covenant might be enforced to stop the shops on Westmount Road selling alcohol (except Threshers which is not on Estate land) is divided, so your Councillors made the decision to collect a petition asking the Council to intervene.   

At the start of the New Year, Cllrs Poston and Drury accompanied by residents and activists started knocking on doors to ask for signatures on a petition to be presented to Council at the end of January.  It was a shocking experience as almost every person had a tale of vandalism or offensive behaviour to tell.  These included:- 

  • Wheelie bins being piled in the middle of the road, overturned or set on fire;
  • Christmas decorations being torn down and lights being smashed;
  • Residents' sons being assaulted (happy slapped) and their houses being attacked (a window had nearly been prised out);
  • Mopeds being ridden up and down the road illegally;
  • A 13 year old boy vomiting with alcohol outside a house;
  • Cars being damaged. 

Most residents seemed to feel the police had been ineffective in dealing with the problem as they were not visible in the area and had simply issued crime numbers.  Only one resident had successfully dealt with the problem and this appeared to be through what could be described as vigilante behaviour.  In all but a few cases, residents signed the petition and agreed with us that the problems were only likely to get worse in the summer if not addressed.