Dec 18 2013

Evening Standard: Hall says Harrow ‘hit by East European gangs’

susan_hall_2London’s Evening Standard has an article today, quoting Council Leader Susan Hall as saying that “Crime linked to East Europeans — ranging from prostitution to pick-pocketing — is appearing in suburban areas like mine, and residents are struggling to see that as a benefit of free travel within the EU.”

It didn’t take long for Sarah Teather, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on refugees, to chime in: “Her comments are a prime example of language that is unhelpful and whips up fear,” said the Lib-Dem MP for Brent Central.

Teather continued:  “She has conflated a whole series of different problems and lumped them all at the door of migrants.”

You can read the entire article on the Standard’s website here. You can also check out the comments on the ES’s site, which include one saying “I live in Harrow. Susan Hall is just telling it like it is, helpful to refugees or not.”

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  1. John Nickolay

    Friends in Brent of various ethnicities say the situation is even worse there than in Harrow. It would seem that Sarah has lost her tether.

  2. sonoo malkani

    Nobody wishes to be unfair or discriminate against any human being.Apart from some hardened racists ,by and large,most of us try to accommodate people from all parts of the world and get to recognise their worth.The main problem today is that immigration has become a hot potato,no thanks to the unaccounted numbers that arrived,unchecked in the last decade and placed huge pressures on all our services, logistically.In our desire to be compassionate and kind to refugees and migrants alike we have ended up committing gross injustice to our own peoples.Is that not unfair discrimination in its own way?Of course,victims of War or horrendous calamities are a special case for consideration.The British people understand this only too well.However,they are feeling treated as second-class citizens in their own country!Realistically,how can we expect to sustain this?Tempers are already frayed.You only need to speak with local residents to hear their sense of frustration.

    Many of us have come from far flung places,settled since decades in the UK and made it our own home.We love the UK as much as the land of our birth.Our children and grand-children consider the UK their own homeland.

    So,it should not come as any surprise that we ALL feel part and parcel of this wonderful country and resent very much the kind of things that the indigenous population has been subjected to.

    Britain owes a debt of gratitude to migrants who came here many moons ago and have been the life-blood of the National Health Service and our Transport system.They do not deny this but that does not mean for ever more we have to allow untold numbers to come and stay here,at any cost!

    There are LOGISTICAL problems which create huge tensions and cause rifts between communities who feel they are being unfairly side-lined.The newcomers jump the queues and get top priority.It’s gone over the top!We need to carefully consider how we plan for this to happen so that we don’t upset the delicate balance of our community and its harmonious relations.We are playing with fire!

    If we were not an Island one could probably accommodate many more but the way things are at present,with acute shortages in housing,school places,surgery appointments,emergency treatments in our hospitals,the economy, and a host of other areas it seems like madness to try and juggle so many balls successfully,without alienating our own public.There is no magic wand,contrary to what some might imagine.

    Of course,the situation will hot up further next month.We know the Bulgarians and Romanians have the right to enter and settle here,thanks to the European Laws in place at this moment in time.This is the sticking point.

    Our negotiations should have been much more pragmatic,ike the Canadians and Americans,with set quotas and qualifications for right of entry.Instead,we opened the flood-gates quite carelessly and under-estimated the influx of Eastern Europeans much to our chagrin.

    Hind-sight is a wonderful thing!Nobody anticipated the stampede we have experienced in recent years.Sorry,if I have offended anybody’s sensitivities but the truth cannot be denied.This has already caused so much anger and resentment.No pint sweeping it under the carpet.This is a thorny issue and unless one grasps the nettle it might come home to bite us,endlessly.We can no longer bury our heads in the sand,like ostriches and hope the problems will vanish.

    I have known Sarah Teather for some years and found her pleasant and helpful.Her position as All Parliamentary Party Group(APPG) Chair for refugees has coloured her views.I have to agree to disagree with her,on this occasion.

    There is no scare-mongering ,just factual reporting.I speak ,most humbly,with personal knowledge as former Chair of the Harrow Police &Community Consultative Group(HPCCG) for ten long years.and have no axe to grind with any party.Just want to be honest and unbiased in my appraisal of the situation.

    As a resident of Harrow,our beautiful borough has been blighted by Romanian brothels and pick-pockets ,mainly young women,who have freely operated in our Town Centre along with their young counter-parts.Harrow Police and our Council has experienced this happening.The Police have their hands tied,and are not at liberty to state this in public for fear of being branded “racist “for targetting a particular group.Has all common-sense gone out of the window?High time we called a spade a spade.

    Our Town Centre team of police officers have done marvellous work to keep these crimes in check.We must support them in preventing such crimes so that our newly re-furbished Town Centre continues to attract much business and carry on thriving, especially during the Festive period.

    Decent,residential areas such as Rayners Lane,Harrow-on -the Hill,South Harrow and some other parts of our borough have been ruined by these brothels.Our local Police teams keep shutting them down,as soon as they have the intelligence.Of course,it’s enormously helpful to have accurate information from members of public.Would anyone who is objecting like a brothel on THEIR door-step?

    We can cope with and try to help improve pockets of deprivation in Harrow,not pockets of depravity!Please,get real. Wake up and smell the coffee.WE,the public of the UK demand that our rights be taken into consideration EQUALLY.

    I sincerely hope our Prime Minister and the Home Secretary look into these burning issues along with our Minister for Civil Society and find realistic solutions to them.

    In fact,cross-party support would help enormously to serve the interests of UK citizens.

    Cllr Hall has had the nerve to stand up and be “politically incorrect”.It’s well past the time for us to pussy-foot around and not speak up for ourselves.What she has stated happens to be true.It makes painful reading but unless we bite the bullet how can we hope to protect ourselves from the sorts of problems which will surface,sooner or later and ruin the quality of our daily lives?You cannot hide the truth in a bid to be popular!.

    One must have the courage to stand up and speak what is in the minds of so many.This is the time to “mean what you say,and say what you mean.”This is not about petty politics.It is about the QUALITY of LIFE we want for our people and deserve.

    CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.Please let us put the needs of Harrovians FIRST and FOREMOST and ,only then ,focus on absorbing realistic numbers of migrants whom we are legally obliged to accommodate.

    They will be given support and encouraged to contribute to our borough.Their loyalty,friendship and genuine contributions will,in due course, make them deserving of everything we can afford to share with and welcome them.This has long been our tradition.Of course,ANY criminals can be sure that they will receive their just desserts.

    Harrovians are made up of huge,religiously diverse,welcoming communities but are also a fiercely proud people ,who stand together to protect the rights of ALL and safeguard our harmony.

    Please don’t misunderstand or misquote us.We value EVERYBODY,including ourselves!!

    God bless.

  3. j p hobbs

    Yes well its a bit late now many UK citizens have been saying this for years and have been chastised for saying so , suddenly many of the people doing the chastising are now standing up and wringing their hands , one wonders where they have had their heads ? probably looking after their own interests and now their priorities have changed due to public pressure and common sense . I travel once a week from Harrow to Tooting and back as an unpaid carer I hardly hear English spoken on the two busses and four crowded trains I use . I have worked from the age of 15 until the age of 66 and I am living on a pittance of a pension , many of these people are getting a small fortune in benefits especially housing benefit having paid bugger all in . This country is heading into free fall if nothing is changed , and I am changing my voting to show my disgust . when I asked my local candidate whom I have supported for many years to do something about a problem he told me the other party would not like it as its their ward and he wouldn’t like it if they did the same to him , I thought politics was about opposition ?

  4. j p hobbs

    The above is not aimed at Cllr Hall but probably about 90% of our long term incompetent politicians again holding their hands out for more money .

  5. Concerned Harrovian

    Surely we have enough home grown criminala we do not need to import them! The police do not need any addition to their aleady heavy work load. Hard-working,law-abiding people we do not have trouble with but those who want to come to our shores for criminal activies are not welcome. It will not be any good closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Community cohesion will break down if these issues are not addressed by politicians.

    Councillor Hall deserves her sheriff’s badge for trying to clean up the town of rubbish and criminals.

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