IS THIS THE WORST ESTATE IN THE BOROUGH?
RESIDENTS HIT OUT AT STABBINGS, THEFTS AND GANG-RELATED CRIME
Delivery drivers don’t come here any more – they’re too afraid A resident of Yeading’s Willow Tree Lane estate
A RESIDENT of Yeading’s Willow Tree Lane Estate has claimed she cannot get a takeaway delivered as drivers are “too afraid” to enter the estate.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, has lived on the estate for nearly 30 years and said it has changed dramatically since she moved there as a teenager.
“Every time I order a takeaway I have to walk to the edge of the estate to pick it up,” she said. “Delivery drivers don’t come here anymore, they’re too afraid.
“One told me the last time he came here, he had his head banged against his wall and they nicked his food and money.”
The estate in Yeading, flanked by Yeading Lane and The Parkway, is one of the most notorious areas for crime and anti-social behaviour, with one local branding it “at least the worst estate in the borough”.
While speaking to the Gazette, a local businessman pointed out of a window to what appeared to be a drug deal taking place, in plain sight.
“These guys mostly sell drugs to school kids,” he sighed. “They wait near the bus stop at school times and sell them weed.
“The other day there were two stabbings out here in front of our door and at the moment there’s a lot of gang activity.
“The situation here is way worse than I have ever seen. These people have bad attitudes and bad behaviour and they are responsible for ruining this area.”
Yeading police data from November, the latest month for which data is available, shows that 20 of the 33 stop and searches were carried out in and around the Willow Tree Lane Estate.
Meanwhile, the most common crime in Yeading was antisocial behaviour, followed by violent and sexual crimes.
A long-suffering resident, whose children grew up on the estate, has said the area around her block can be so intimidating her children’s friends will not come to their home.
“My son’s friend only lives a couple of minutes away but he often turns back halfway here and says it’s too dangerous,” she said.
“It’s very intimidating now, I am very aware of the sorts of things going on around here and see people hanging around all the time in groups.
“There’s no community feeling here anymore. Not like there was when I was a kid here. The last time I felt any real community spirit on the estate was when we had a garden party for the Queen’s jubilee.”
In November 2017, 132 crimes were committed in Yeading according to data published by police.
Of these, around 50 incidents were on the estate itself. The streets on and around the estate with the highest number of crimes in November include Dunedin Way (11) and Yeading Lane (eight), as well as Norcott Close (five) and Masefield Lane (five).
A group of people working at one of the businesses in the area described the places as “terrible” and “getting worse”.
“People get stabbed, there’s gangrelated crime, the shops get smashed into, cars get broken into,” they said.
“Road closures due to stabbings have meant we can’t open our business, so we’ve had to close on more than a few occasions.
“During the day the place is covered in undesirables. By that I mean crackheads and p***heads, sitting on the walls all day doing nothing but asking for a quid.”
Gesturing towards the Willow Tree Roundabout, a woman who lives nearby said she is intimidated by alleged criminal activities and gathering of gangs by an underpass, near the Willow Tree Lane Retail Park.
“I wouldn’t go down that underpass in the daylight, let alone at night,” she said.
The subway in question was subject to four stop and search operations in the month of November and two offenders were given a drug possession warning, while no drugs were found in the other two instances.
A drug possession warning was also handed out in Masefield Lane and a boy between the age of 10 and 17 was arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
A man who has lived on the estate for more than 30 years feels there is a loss of community.
“The problem is people have moved away and the new people have no interest in the area,” he said.
“There’s a lot of violence in this area and there wasn’t when I move here more than 30 years ago.”
Operation Starbrook is a Yeadingwide joint initiative between local police and Hillingdon Council to drive out crime and improve the area.
In December, this led to a crackdown on drugs, with some suspected dealers evicted from homes and others arrested.
The area has also received “significantly enhanced police patrols” and a new ward panel has been set up by local safer neighbourhood teams.
Speaking in December, a police spokesperson said: “As a result of this activity there has been a significant displacement of ASB and drug dealing away from Yeading and a consequent reduction in crime from its peak in the summer.”
None of the local takeaways contacted said they had experienced attacks and denied having “no go areas”.
Hillingdon Council, which partly owns the estate, has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.
Is the WIllow Tree Lane estate Hillingdon’s most dangerous?