Thursday, 11 August 2011

Councillor Stephen Fenwick, Liberal Democract Councillor for Worcester Park Ward writes:

"The riots and attacks across most parts of London are shocking and despicable. This sort of violence is an act which should not happen in a modern city, particularly with the Olympic Games under a year away.

Seventeen boroughs were affected by violence in the last few days, with devastating consequences. A lot of police forces in the worst hit boroughs were a little unprepared for the violence which occured. The fact that there was little direction from the Government and a hinderence by Scotland Yard to act swiftly against the mobs resulted in more chaos and damage to people's lives, livehoods and futures.

During a period on Monday night when parts of Croydon and other boroughs were being destroyed by mindless idiots who have no sense of morality or even conscience, Sutton's police force - working with the Council and other intelligence - made sure that as many parts of the Borough were protected. 

Whilst there was a small amount of damage to premises in Sutton and Rosehill, attempted break-ins and lootings by some gangs were halted by Sutton police. Credit must be given to them and others who monitored the situation in Central and outer London to make sure that residents across the whole of Sutton borough were best protected. 

In Sutton High Street, police intercepted many gangs to stop their attack and police patrolled all parts, including North Cheam and Worcester Park to ensure no trouble occurred. 

On Tuesday night, all of London and many parts of the UK were put on alert for more attacks. Sutton police - alert to ensure all parts of the Borough were protected - ensured that shops closed early and that extra patrols across the whole of the Borough were out to deter potential rioters and criminals.

Sutton had relatively minimal damage, mainly due to the quick work of both the police and the Council to ensure our residents, traders and the shops were best protected.

When I watched the riots unfold on the rolling news channels Monday night, I had two concerns. The first was for myself and my family - would we be at risk from any looters or rioters? But also on my mind was the safety of the residents, their houses and the shops in Worcester Park. 

I hoped and prayed that any part of Sutton would not get devasted, particularly Worcester Park. It didn't. 

Many residents on The Hamptons have contacted my colleague and I recently about arson attacks on damage done to the estate there, particularly as there are four access points which are either not properly locked or have no proper gates to them.

At present, we are working with Sutton council and St James's Housing to ensure proper security can be installed, particularly after this week's events. However, I would also like to ensure that all parts of Worcester Park are safe so that no damage can ever be done by looters or attackers in the future. Whilst I am not a NIMBY, as ward councillor for Worcester Park, I am concerned for the safety of all residents, shops and houses. 

Whilst not trying to heighten fears of riotous attacks, I am as much concerned about the level of grafitti and other minor vandalism which sporadically occurs in the ward. The residents of Worcester Park - in both Sutton and Kingston are well protected and the council and police will work hard to ensure that no damage is done in the next few days. 

Moreover, we - and myself - are committed to ensuring that Worcester Park is a both a ward and a town where crime is low and that residents do not have suffer from the pains of graffiti or other crimes. Ensuring that we can find the available funds and the right directions - with the assistaance of all residents, regardless of politics, but with a common aim of improving Worcester Park - this can be achieved."