‘Shocking and unacceptable’ anti-social behaviour at Havering College to be addressed at open meeting

The Ardleigh Green campus of Havering College. Picture: Isabel Infantes

The Ardleigh Green campus of Havering College. Picture: Isabel Infantes - Credit: Isabel Infantes

A public meeting has been arranged by Havering Council to update residents following concerns about anti-social behaviour at Havering College.

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, has set up a meeting between the council, Romford MP, Andrew Rosindell, Havering College, the police and public, after a number of incidents involving students took place at the Ardleigh Green campus, resulting in complaints from residents.

On Monday (November 16), an 18-year-old was arrested in Ardleigh Green on suspicion of being in possession of a large knife, following two dispersal orders in the area in the last month.

In a statement, MP for Upminster Julia Lopez said that part of the disturbances were due to the drug dealer who had been targeting the campus, which the police have now had “some success” in tackling.

She added that she had requested an account of recent activity on the campus as well as information on the steps the college would be putting in place to manage antisocial behaviour,

In response, the school has suspended several students which were involved in any incidents. They are also implementing staggered exits to stop students congregating in large groups, sniffer dog drugs searches and knife arches are also being conducted.

The MP also assured residents that the catchment area of the school has not changed from last year.

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A Zoom meeting next Thursday, November 26, (6.30pm-7.30pm) will give residents an update on what actions have been taken so far and to hear their concerns.

Councillor White said: “The reports that we have received about anti-social behaviour at the college aren’t acceptable, but we’re pleased to see that the college has acted quickly to clamp down on the situation.

“The meeting will give us an opportunity to have an open discussion and give residents our reassurance that we the different agencies are working together to sort things out.”

Andrew Rosindell said: “Recent events in Ardleigh Green have been shocking and unacceptable. Local residents must not be left to feel threatened and unsafe in this way and I will do everything in my power, in conjunction with the Police, Havering College and Havering Council, to ensure swift action to make our community safe again.

“Ardleigh Green is a family-oriented community. It is the sort of place where students attending college should be able to thrive and grow. Instead, those who are engaging in disruptive, threatening, and even criminal behaviour are ruining everything for students who want to further their education and local people who want to live in peace in their own homes.

“Enough is enough, this violence and anti-social behaviour must stop and I stand by the local people of Ardleigh Green. We will get through this together.”

In addition to this, the council has asked its new Covid marshals to patrol the area and the director of children’s services, Robert South and assistant director of education, Trevor Cook have arranged to meet the principal to discuss how the council can further support the college.

Thursday’s meeting is expected to be attended by Councillor White, Councillor Viddy Persaud, cabinet member for public protection and safety, police, Robert South and Trevor Cook.

For anyone wishing to take part, please register via Eventbrite.