Residents on Neasden housing estate ‘living in fear’ of robberies and burglaries

St Raphael’s Estate is one of the worse affected areas in Brent

Terrified residents have claimed they are ‘living in fear’ of gangs and youths following a sharp increase in robberies and burglaries on their estate.

In the last year Brent has seen a seven per cent rise in cases, placing it within the top ten in London and the highest of surrounding boroughs, figures from Brent Council reveal.

The St Raphael’s Estate in Neasden, which falls into the Stonebridge ward, is one of the worse affected areas.

Brenda Linton, vice chair of the St Raphael’s Estate’ tenants association, said attacks had become ‘common place’.

She told the Times: “People are living in fear around here and at least two of my neighbours have been targeted. “There needs to be more to do for young people round here to stop them getting involved in things like this, this is a deep rooted problem.”

The Stonebridge and Harlesden wards accounted for 25 per cent of the borough’s burglary cases.

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Stonebridge councillor, Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, expressed concern over ongoing cuts to the police force.

He said: “I will be working with the community to try and tackle this important issue.

“The statistics also show the damage police cuts are doing to crime in Brent. The government should be cutting crime not police officers.”

However, Chief Superintendant Matthew Gardner, borough commander for Brent Police, said the figures were inaccurate because in more than a third of all burglary cases they were still recorded despite being unsuccessful.

He added: “There are opportunities for reducing crime that we are working together on, integrated offender management is one opportunity, this is about looking at repeat offenders from a viewpoint of all partner agencies and formulating a team response.”