Casework: Argyle Walk Regeneration

Argyle Walk is a notoriously lawless avenue, and has been so since the Victorian Era. There are no windows, multiple points of egress to run from Police, no CCTV, and hardly any windows. It seems not a day goes by without some issue.

Whenever we visit the place, residents come out to petition us for change. Problems involve drug dealing, drug taking, homeless camps being set up, fights, fly tipping, littering, vandalism of trees and buildings, failure to clean the street, and urination onto and even into properties. As recently as a month ago this place had become impassable as a large homeless camp had been set up at the eastern end.

We want to see this area regenerated and possibly gated, then given back to the community. Possibly CCTV.

ENTRY ONE: JULY 2019

We visited the place with Borough Monitoring Manager Ian Dudding and Head of Environment Services Richard Bradbury, and we talked of the vast contrast between the well kept interior of the Hillview Estates and the poor roads surrounding them. They let us know of sources of funding earmarked for the area, possibly to ‘Save Argyle Walk’.

ENTRY TWO: AUGUST 2019

We visited the area with Fraser Valdez, the Camden monitoring officer for the area, and Dean Hall, the Education and Enforcement Officer. We agreed that things were certainly not as they should be, although they had improved a little. A resident came out and explained how the place was always trashed with litter.

Within a week we saw a huge increase in the level of cleanliness on the road. New mechanical sweepers had been deployed to the area. The trees had been cleaned up a little as well.

ENTRY THREE: SEPTEMBER 2019

We visited the area again with Fraser Valdez. Two residents came out and described how every night people were disturbed by ‘junkies’ fighting – how they had called the Police but they often didn’t come. How someone had left their ground floor window open and somebody had urinated through it into their kitchen. They also told how an hour earlier a ‘posse’ of policemen had marched down the street. Etc. We discussed regeneration for the road – better lighting, CCTV, possibly gating the place off and running it as a public square – open at day, closed past nightfall.

Somebody had made some impromptu tree pits around the trees on the road – apparently a photoshoot had taken place and the photoshoot team had cleared the area and put together the tree pits. However as the level of the soil is above that of ground (which puts trees under stress and can kill them) and boards had been installed (trip hazard) and the boards were somewhat ‘tacky’ they will have to be removed and redone properly in time for next Spring.

Later in the day we discussed at a BRAG committee meeting the investment that Camden is putting into a wireless CCTV network. Argyle Walk must certainly be covered by this network.

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