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Demand for scaffolding alarms in Brondesbury Park estate as burglary fears rise

PUBLISHED: 17:36 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:36 07 December 2016

David Minter and Cllr Carol Shaw at Pharamond

David Minter and Cllr Carol Shaw at Pharamond

Jonathan Goldberg

Scaffolding on a block of flats is attracting burglars, say community leaders in Brondesbury Park.

They are urging housing chiefs to place alarms on the structure around the Pharamond Estate on Willesden Lane to prevent more break-ins during the Christmas period.

David Minter, form Community leaders in Brondesbury Park are urging housing chiefs to place alarms on scaffolding before someone gets robbed.

David Minter, former chair of the residents association at the Pharamond Estate, has slammed Brent Housing Partnership for refusing to alarm the scaffolding.

He said: “The scaffolding’s been up since September and BHP has refused to alarm them. We had an intruder last month climbing on them who I chased away. All I got from BHP is that people have to leave their windows shut. A lot of vulnerable and disabled people live here. I live on the ground floor but they don’t and they aren’t used to shutting their windows.”

Mr Minter said he was speaking up for residents despite standing down from his role as association chairman. He added: “I had to step down, BHP got me so wound up from their lack of response. Their answer 99 per cent of the time is “we’ll look into it” and you don’t hear back.”

Cllr Carol Shaw, conservative councillor for Brondesbury Park said she has received “hundreds upon hundreds” of complaints from exasperated constituents and that scaffolding was an issue.

She said: “I don’t understand why the scaffolding erected has not been alarmed as there are vulnerable people living there.”

A spokeswoman from BHP said residents did not ask for the scaffolding to be alarmed in any of the consultations. She said: “The external works to the Pharamond Estate began in September, as part of BHP’s planned works programme, and the scaffolding will be dismantled by December 15.

“All access to scaffolding is restricted to BHP’s operatives only, and where residents identify intruders we would urge them to contact the police immediately.

“BHP treats all security concerns very seriously and will respond to any incidents as a matter of urgency. We were not asked to install alarms to scaffolding on this project during any consultations we have had with residents. However, we would be happy to explore this if residents feel it is appropriate.”

Peter Weaver of the South Brent Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “At this time of year burglaries rise due to the temptation of gifts being easily identifiable and often of some value.

“Sensible crime prevention measures include ensuring that the company running the building works have secured the ground area around the scaffolding with appropriate fencing if possible.

“All occupiers should follow normal security deadlines by locking windows and doors appropriately and with the right type of mechanism and if in a block or house with scaffolding, they should pay extra attention and call police on 101 or 999 should they see something suspicious.”

He added: “Brent residents should keep an eye out for each other and, if they know they have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour, they make a visit or check they are OK from time to time.”

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