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Mum’s anger as Gillespie Park path is plagued by drug dealers

‘I can’t let my children walk there alone’

11 January, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Entrance to the path that runs through Gillespie Park from Quill Street to Seven Sisters Road

APPALLED residents walking down a public pathway have witnessed couples having sex in “broad daylight”, drug dealing and people urinating in front of children, according to a mother.

The path running through Gillespie Park from Quill Street to Seven Sisters Road is plagued by anti-social and criminal behaviour, police were told at a Highbury West Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting.

An Islington mother, who did not wish to be named out of fear of a backlash from drug dealers, said: “I can’t let my children walk around there alone now. A couple of residents have noticed people having sex along there in broad daylight.

“There’s one drug dealer constantly up and down Quill Street, speeding and threatening residents. Then, if I try and take my kids along the pathway there are people scoring drugs and peeing anywhere they feel like it.”

She added: “It’s getting really bad, to the point where I am going to explode if I see another man pulling down his trousers and doing his business.”

Jonathan Gallagher in discussion with a resident

Highbury West police constable Alex Cain, who was at Tuesday’s meeting at the Arsenal Hub in Benwell Road, said: “We know it is a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, but I did not know that there was sex going on there. Now I do, I will be patrolling.

“But it’s not like other areas. I can go on certain roads in the borough and take out a house that is selling drugs and it will solve the problem on that road. If I go into Quill Street and we do the same thing, it will just move to another house. There’s no quick solution.”

Islington Council officer Jonathan Gallagher said a “call to action” was needed to tackle problems in the area.

“Some residents may think that, because police do not immediately act on their report, it means they have been ignored,” he said. “This is not the case. You need to keep reporting.

“Police can use these reports to build a picture and then launch an operation at a later date. Drugs are driving almost all of the criminal issues in the area.”

Safer Neighbourhood Panels are community and police engagement and consultation groups managed by the Met. To find out when your next meeting is go to www.met.police.uk/a/your-area and search your postcode.

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