Drug arrest but no meetings for Island residents
Residents of an Isle of Dogs estate have won a small victory over drug use under their noses.
Occupants of New Union Wharf have complained of persistent drug problems on the estate for several months, with youths dealing and smoking cannabis outside and from an untaxed car.
They contacted police on Friday night after finding an area "reeking" of cannabis, and Blackwall and Cubitt Town Safer Neighbourhood Team swooped at around 7.30pm.
A man was stopped in a motor vehicle in New Union Close with 40 bags of suspected cannabis and £400 in cash.
The Wharf talked to several residents who reported drug use around blocks such as Nightingale and Heron Court. One saw youths smoking cannabis in a car in broad daylight with the window rolled down and music blaring.
Issues such as these on the seven-block, 190-flat estate prompted the Safer Neighbourhood Team to set up a monthly resident drop-in session in July, but housing association East Thames has cancelled the last three due to "staffing issues".
Resident Ray Morgan said: "Every single day there's dealing going on underneath Nightingale Court, mainly cannabis. It's upsetting people.
"We had the first meeting with the Safer Neighbourhood Team, but we haven't had one since."
Eric Pemberton, chair of the Redbrick Tenants Association, said: "I'm having to face a lot of aggrieved residents. We're the only estate on the Isle of Dogs without CCTV, and we've been asking for it for 30 years.
"There are a number of tenants who wish to talk with police confidentially. They don't want to talk to me or East Thames, and that's why these meetings were set up."
East Thames told The Wharf it was "committed to stamping out" anti-social behaviour problems on the estate, and that it was "currently arranging a site visit from a potential supplier" of CCTV to decide if it was "practical and beneficial" for the estate.
It claimed the drop-in sessions would resume in November.
* Daniel Watkins, 19, of Talbot Close, has been charged with possession with intent to supply class B drugs. He has been remanded in custody until a bail hearing on Monday, and is due to appear for committal for trial on November 23.