In its efforts to reassure residents and improve safety in and around Barking, the council has increased security at London Road car park.
Since Wednesday 14 July, the council has had professional dog handlers in the car park from 8pm to 8am every day and they have so far ejected people who shouldn’t be there 25 times.
The council has also been conducting regular Community Safety patrols every day between 10am and 7pm and have ejected another eight people since 14 July – making it a total of 33 people in that time. The police are also regularly patrolling the car park.
Despite the CCTV at the car park being fully operational and monitored 24/7, the east London council is currently reviewing it, with plans to upgrade it and implementing a tannoy system to warn people that CCTV is operating and that they are being watched.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “Nobody should feel worried or anxious about parking their car in one of our car parks, whether that’s to go to work, do some shopping or to see friends and family. That’s why we’ve listened to our residents who have raised concerns and we’re now working hard to improve the conditions and security in our car parks.
“Ensuring that residents feel safe when out and about in the borough is an absolute priority and we’re currently exploring several initiatives to make sure this is the case, such as the Safe Haven scheme and the Women’s Safety Survey.”
During the inspections, officers identified several rough sleepers and some antisocial behaviour offenders. Officers are engaging with them, but if they continue to breach the rules, the council will issue legal enforcement powers to prohibit them from the car park.
The car park is also cleaned regularly, and the cleaning teams have a reporting procedure in place to inform the enforcement team of any antisocial behaviour.