Burglars target half the homes on one street in the Church Road Estate in Willesden

Beleagured residents claim housing association is ignoring crimewave blighting their lives

A housing association has been accused of ignoring the plight of tenants on a Willesden street where half of the homes have been burgled in the past six months.

Residents living in Garrard Walk on the Church Road Estate, have slammed Catalyst Housing Association (CHA) claiming it has turned a blind eye to the crimewave blighting their road.

Since September, six out of the 12 houses on the street have been burgled and in the latest incident last week, a 69-year-old widow was home alone at 8pm when a group of youths tried to break in.

Samantha Hurley, the victim’s daughter, said her mother was ‘terrified’ after two previous break ins and has called on CHA to step in and help residents. She said: “People have broken in to her house while all the lights have been on. My mother doesn’t go to sleep now because she is so scared.

“We have asked for locks and bolts to be installed on the windows but nothing seems to be done.”

Verisha Samuel, a pregnant mother-of-one, says she was forced to flee her home and seek refuge with her family in a neighbouring borough after her house was targeted for the fifth time last month.

Most Read

Ms Samuel, who has a seven-year-old daughter, has vowed not to return to the property. She said: “I have been shivering in fear; this is a serious problem which needs to be dealt with by the police and housing association.”

“These are gangs who carefully watch people. They know I don’t have a male to protect me so see me as an easy target.”

A spokesman for Catalyst Housing said there were two CCTV cameras in the area and that the information gathered had been successfully used as evidence to prosecute.

However he admitted the cameras did not face Garrard Walk as they were focused on Talbot Road and Church Road on the advice of police.

He added that they were “very concerned” for all residents and were working closely with Harlesden Safer Neighbourhood Team to tackle crime.

DI Barry Loader, from Brent’s priority crime unit, also insisted police were working hard to reassure residents.

Anyone with any information regarding the burglaries should call Brent priority crime unit on 020 8733 3116 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Are you a resident on Garrard Walk who has been targeted by burglars? If so call the news desk on 020 7433 6224.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter