Residents of Palmers Green street blighted by burglaries and speeding traffic demand action

Thieves have targeted several Dawlish Avenue properties in recent months while residents also say road has become a “motorway” since two LTNs were installed nearby, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

Dawlish Avenue, Palmers Green
Dawlish Avenue, Palmers Green (credit Grace Howarth/LDRS)

Residents of a Palmers Green street say they’ve experienced crime and road safety issues for years despite appealing for help from the Metropolitan Police and Enfield Council.

Dawlish Avenue residents have expressed growing concerns with road safety from speeding and heavy traffic, which they claim is a “knock-on effect” of the two low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) installed three years ago and made permanent last year.

In the last few months there have also been multiple break-ins along Dawlish Avenue and the recent uptick of attempted burglaries, particularly during the day, is the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” claim residents. 

Maryam Najand, a Dawlish Avenue resident for over a decade, said: “We’ve had these terrifying incidents with residents finding themselves facing armed burglars, this is increasingly happening. 

“There are people breaking into houses with balaclavas on, it’s happened to two of my friends in the neighbourhood.”

She said it was especially concerning that break-ins were happening more during the day while families were home, leaving them “traumatised and in therapy”. 

“These are just things we don’t expect to be happening.”

Two residents who recently experienced this were Jan West and her partner David Moody. On Sunday, 26th November at around 5pm, three men attempted to break into their house. Fortunately David was able to scare the burglers off by grabbing a hammer and the pair weren’t injured. Police officers showed up two hours later, but the culprits have not been caught.

Jan, 60, has lived on Dawlish Avenue since the 1970s and said within the last year she’s seen “an uptick in burglaries”. Describing the incident in November, she said: “He was head-to-foot in dark clothes, mask across his face, and that’s when he’s waving his hands back at us, yelling ‘don’t come out, stay inside’, shouting quite aggressively.”

Fevzi Hussein, another resident, said he had been contacting the Met Police, council and his local MP for months to raise awareness of rising crime but said the feedback hadn’t been encouraging.

In a response last week, Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous said he would raise residents’ concerns with the borough police commander, Caroline Haines. 

Fevzi said the council had said that “police have upped their patrols with territorial support group van patrols and other police” but residents say they’ve not noticed the increased presence.

Dawlish Avenue
Dawlish Avenue residents

Nadia Salehian, who has lived on the road since 2015, experienced attempted burglaries in October and in summer 2022. She believes homes are being “monitored” for targeting and said: “People have been spotted looking at houses, getting their phones out taking photos, and when they’ve been challenged they say they’re just taking photos of the roof – it’s just brazen.”

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Nadia added: “People have been reporting it to the police, people have been reporting it to the local council, and to be honest we’ve not seen any police presence on our road.

“I’m a single mum, I’ve got two kids, quite frankly I just never want to leave the house, you worry every time you book a weekend away.

“With what happened to the neighbours up the road [Jan and David] – they don’t seem to care whether you’re home or not.”

Nadia believes the street is an “easy target” because of the lack of support from police. Cars are also being broken into, she added, saying people were taking “phone chargers, they’re not even stealing the car” and that a couple of cars had their catalytic converters taken. 

She said:“It’s been a culmination of things like that. As a woman you don’t feel safe walking down the street, there’s no cameras anywhere, there’s hardly any lighting.”

Residents are also dealing with worsening road safety issues on the street. Dawlish Avenue sits between the Fox Lane and Bowes Park LTNs which were introduced in 2020 and made permanent in 2022, despite most respondents to a consultation opposing them.

Nadia said: “Over the years my car has been hit so many times because of speeding, a wing mirror has gone, the back light has gone, the bumper front and back.

“People on the street have been very active in reporting speeding cars on our road but nothing is done about it.”

She said residents had complained about the LTN and the “knock-on effect” it had on the street but “no-one cares”.

Maryam claimed Dawlish Avenue was  “basically extension of the M25”. She said: “The wealthy properties are all now part of LTNs and they have beautiful quiet neighbourhoods. Whereas Dawlish is basically a one-lane motorway.

“We have hundreds of videos showing trucks reversing because they can’t get around the bend.

“The council has said unless there’s a serious incident, pertaining to a death perhaps, then no measures will be imposed.”

Fevzi is calling for extra police patrols, speed bumps and new speed limit signs. He said: “It’s a situation where enough is enough now, and people are genuinely concerned for their safety.

“The council position on road safety, disgracefully, is that unless there’s a serious accident or a fatality they won’t really do anything.

“Which is really an outrageous position to adopt, given how we’ve had a lot of traffic diverted onto our road, because of the LTN, it’s like rat-run, there’s a lot of reckless driving.”

Both the Met Police and Enfield Council were approached for comment but did not respond.

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