We must all re­turn Hayes to its glory

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I write in sup­port of the author of the “Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion Isn’t Mak­ing Hayes Safe” let­ter from your May 4 edi­tion. As the author stated gang-re­lated crime is ev­i­dent. Drug deal­ing, pro­tec­tion rack­ets, pros­ti­tu­tion and mug­gings have been an ever in­creas­ing el­e­ment for at least the last 12 to 13 years. In fact not alone are the num­ber of crim­i­nal in­stances in­creas­ing in num­bers. The fe­roc­ity that is at­tached to them is in­creas­ing also with stab­bings and mur­der now be­com­ing more reg­u­lar.

Ap­prox­i­mately 2 years ago the Po­lice Ward Panel meet­ing in Town­field Ward I was told that ‘ex­tra re­sources had been sourced to fund 2 full time po­lice of­fi­cers in Hayes Town only, to deal with in­ci­dents of street beg­ging, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and street drink­ing’.

At around that same time ac­cord­ing to the po­lice’s own statis­tics the bur­glary of res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in wards around Hayes Town was on the in­crease.

All ‘re­sources’ for public ser­vices such as the po­lice are ‘sourced’ in one way or an­other from the public purse. There is no chance what­so­ever that pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als or groups would dip their hands in their own pock­ets to pay for polic­ing re­gard­less of whether they ben­e­fited or not by do­ing so.

Clearly the ‘ex­tra re­sources’ have not suc­cess­fully com­bated their tar­get ar­eas. In­deed it could be ar­gued that the prob­lems of beg­ging, drink­ing and ASB have in­creased over the last 2-3 years.

With re­gard to the ac­tual process of Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion it­self (even with­out gangs, beg­gars, yobs, mug­gers etc, etc) this pub­licly funded scheme is also des­tined to fail for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons: a) As Phase One reached its pre­ma­ture com­ple­tion (Phase Two can­not be­gin un­til the var­i­ous util­ity com­pa­nies move their equip­ment/

pipes/ca­bles etc from Hayes Town), it would seem that no­body as­so­ci­ated with this project had the fore­sight to re­quest that the util­ity com­pa­nies at­tend to these pre­lim­i­nary works on Phase Two, while Phase One proper was live. As I un­der­stand it the crew who did Phase One (to a very high stan­dard) will be sent to other jobs with no guar­an­tee of their re­turn­ing to com­plete the project. b) As stated Phase One Path­ways/ Cy­cle Paths, though in­or­di­nately wide (wider than the road in many places), were in­stalled to a high stan­dard. Re­gret­tably those who use the foot­path/pave­ment do not ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­fort that has gone into in­stalling them for in save of the pave­ment slabs be­ing well over 2 inches thick of vi­brated con­crete 120 of them are now, af­ter be­ing in situ for less than one year, in need of re­plac­ing due to cracks and chip­ping. Clearly this

dam­age was not caused by pedes­trian traf­fic demon­strat­ing that the path is be­ing used for a pur­pose other than that which it was de­signed for? c) Lit­ter is piled in huge mounds on both sides of Cold­har­bour Lane. Of­ten ad­dress la­bels are clearly vis­i­ble but noth­ing gets done, and the cul­prits con­tinue to of­fend. Our street cleaner does an ex­cel­lent job but he is fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle as a hand cart is no match for com­bat­ing mounds of rub­bish, mat­tresses, beds, chairs etc.

Not long ago Hayes was a clean, safe place to work and live in.

Sadly that is not the case now, and throw­ing public money at the prob­lem will, by it­self, not work to change things. We owe it to our­selves and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to re­turn Hayes to what it once was. BERNARD FA­GAN Avon­dale Drive


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