Letter: Landor Road: a street ruled by drugs and crime

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The Independent Online
Sir: The article about Landor Road struck a deeply felt chord ('The street where I live', 2 November). I live in a road that meets Landor Road on the 'front line'. I work in the road next-door to Cato Road, where PC Patrick Dunne was killed, so my life is centred in this small area around Clapham North.

I have been burgled five times in the past two years. I no longer have a stereo, a television or a video. I can no longer get insurance and I can't afford to replace them. Besides, what is the point; the fact that I possess them means they will inevitably be stolen. I know the police in this area quite well. They turn up eventually (usually within three hours) and say 'we are so sorry' but offer no hope of retrieving my possessions, except on one occasion when they suggested that I might be able to buy back my camera at a shop in Bedford Road. When I say 'what can I do?' they suggest I write to the Home Secretary. I genuinely believe that they are sorry but they feel completely powerless.

One afternoon about a year ago my parents came for lunch and I saw someone climbing through the upstairs window of a house that backs on to mine. I called the police. They came very quickly and caught the man (he had been repossessed and was trying to retrieve some of his possessions). As the police trooped back through my flat one turned to me and said: 'What are nice people like you doing living in a place like this?'

Houses in this road are increasingly becoming derelict. Even long-standing council tenants are looking for every opportunity to move. With a neighbour, I tried to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme - out of 150 drops we had eight replies.

When I heard about the police raid on 15 July I thought at last something was being done. Yet how could such an operation involving so many members of the police force and such a large amount of taxpayers' money fail to catch even one of the main drug dealers. It is utterly unbelievable.

I will not be forced out of a flat and a part of London I like very much, but will somebody please tell me what I should do next?

Yours faithfully,


London, SW9

3 November

(Photograph omitted)