Street crime campaign urges support for survey ahead of key meeting

Plans to tackle the continuing blight of drug dealing, drug use, other crime and anti-social behaviour on the streets of Brixton will be presented at a meeting on Wednesday next week (27 March).

Its organisers are urging local people to complete a short online survey before Monday 25 March so that as full a picture as possible of the current state of Brixton is available.

Local police have already updated their published priorities for central Brixton, including increased engagement with young people through partnerships with local organisations and targeted patrols of dealing hotspots.

The meeting to hear from the police, Lambeth council and others about their plans to is the outcome of work by local residents who got together to form Action on ASB! (AOASB).

It will be in St Matthews Church opposite the town hall, starting at 7pm. You can reserve a seat via Evenbrite.

police officer addresses public meeting
Superintendent Gabriel Cameron at the meeting in Lambeth Town Hall in November last year

Police and council officers promised to draw up the plans at a meeting in the town hall last year organised by AOASB at which local people poured out accounts of crime and anti-social behaviour and inadequate responses from both police and council.

The Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) has also organised meetings at which local traders complained of the massive effects of theft and intimidation on restaurants, shops and venues.

Action on ASB! said it is an independent campaign uniting residents, businesses and community organisations to call for action from the police, council and relevant agencies to reduce anti-social behaviour in Brixton, while ensuring the community is actively involved.

Gaining much momentum in a short time, the campaign already has 140 members and is supported by nearly 30 local community organisations, including faith, cultural, education, business and resident groups “all united in their resolve to reclaim Brixton’s streets from ASB”.

The campaign is focussed on the four central Brixton wards: Brixton Acre Lane, Brixton Rush Common, Brixton North and Brixton Windrush.

police officer speaking at public meeting
The first A)ASB meeting

It said that since its first public meeting in September last year, there has been recognition from the police and council that ASB levels in Brixton are unacceptable and require a new joint-agency, place-based approach if any sustainable progress is going to be made.

This led to the agreement by Lambeth council and the police at the ACTION ON ASB! public meeting in November to jointly develop a formal ASB reduction strategy for Brixton.

At the meeting on 27 March, Lambeth council and the Metropolitan police will present their new joint plan for tackling ASB in Brixton to the community for the first time. People at the meeting will have an opportunity to comment on the proposals.

The panel is not yet confirmed but Lambeth Council are led by Councillor Mahamed Hashi, cabinet member for safer communities. The Metropolitan Police are led by Superintendent Gabriel Cameron and Brixton’s new Inspector Simon Blondell.

It is hoped that local MPs Florence Eshalomi (Vauxhall), Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) and Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Streatham) will attend.

The meeting is expected to hear details of arrangements for closer cooperation with other critical agencies, including addiction and health support services. Organisers hoped they will be represented at the meeting.

Meeting details

Time: 7pm until 9pm (doors 6.30pm)

Venue: Level 4 Hall, St Matthew’s Church, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF (entrance through the basement doors on the side of the church facing Brixton town centre. The meeting room is wheelchair accessible). 

ACTION ON ASB! is seeking contributions to its running costs through GoFundMe. It is run entirely by volunteers who, so far, have paid expenses out of their own pockets.

Concern about anti-social behaviour in Brixton is not new. Public drinking in Windrush Square was a concern nine years ago.