Signs defy Willesden’s Week of Action
PUBLISHED: 11:48 27 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:48 27 November 2013
Residents in Willesden upset by a large digital billboard they say is ‘‘scaremongering’’ have responded by putting up their own signs
Brent Council erected the electronic signs to warn people about burglaries and keeping their homes safe as part of its Week of Action in Willesden Green.
However, banners made by residents have now appeared attached to the nearby railings with “Worried about your community?” and “Save the Queensbury”.
Sujata Aurora, who lives in the area, told the Times: “People are upset about the sign and think it’s scaremongering.
‘‘The council is running this Week of Action to find out what matters to residents but crime is not the only issue.
“People are worried about the loss of community space, the closure of the library and the paved-over town square.
‘‘Focussing on crime seems to miss the point, so people have put their own signs up.”
The council invited residents to comment on Twitter asking: “Is there one thing about Willesden Green you’d like to change? Tell us 18-23 Nov #willesdenwoa.
Some people interpreted WOA, for Week of Action, as “week of woe”. Mike Baker posted “whether the purpose of #willesdenwoa (week of woe) to scare us all shirtless?” Others said it made them feel “unsafe”.
Cllr Aslam Choudry, Brent Council’s Lead Member for Community Safety, said: “We put up the digital billboard with Brent Police to make people aware of the risk of burglaries as the nights get darker, and because safety is a top concern for people in Willesden Green ward.
“The Week of Action was successful and together with Brent Police, housing associations and voluntary groups we gave out a lot of safety advice such as burglary prevention information.
“During the week we talked to many residents and listened to them about what they wanted done in their area.
“We had no complaints from them about the billboard and it cost council tax payers nothing.
‘‘In the last year burglary in the borough fell by 25.4 per cent, which equates to 550 fewer burglaries, which was one of the biggest drops in London.”
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