The West End Labour Action team has followed up residents’ concerns with Westminster Council on the state of the BT phone boxes in the area. Phone boxes have become a focus for anti-social behaviour (including drug taking, defecation and urination) and their poor condition creates an atmosphere of neglect. Visitors to London (and many residents) view the old style telephone boxes as iconic and are sickened when they open the door to find the disgusting condition many are in in our prime tourist area.
We are pleased that 2 phone boxes have had their doors removed in Soho to reduce anti-social behaviour but this is just the tip of the iceberg. This neglect creates a safe haven for Anti-Social Behaviour. Westminster Council and BT need to do more.
West End Labour Action Team were at the forefront of calling for greater police action, designing out Anti-Social Behaviour, deploring the fact no one monitors Westminster’s CCTV months after we highlighted it. We continue to ask for greater cooperation between neighbouring boroughs.
We are pleased to see greater cooperation already starting with the first Camden and Westminster police surgery (Monday 5th December) but are concerned to hear reports of the problem of anti-social behaviour being swept up the road to Fitzrovia.
We have now called on the council to ensure better lighting and patrols around Newman Passage in Fitzrovia and to monitor residents’ feedback to the new lighting at Ingestre Court.
We are saddened to learn from Westminster Council that there is no Neighbourhood Watch set up for Soho, Fitzrovia and Mayfair at the same time as the Mayor of London is investing time and money into Neighbourhood Watch. We will consult with residents and businesses on the creation of local Neighbourhood Watches within West End Ward.
We call on residents, Westminster Council and BT to monitor neglected phone boxes to the council and BT as soon as they see them so that the wellbeing of the West End and the quality of life of its residents is no longer taken for granted in 2017.