Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Dagenham’s 48 hours of horror, how do residents feel a month later?

Dagenham’s 48 hours of horror, how do residents feel a month later?

  • Crime is on the rise in the borough
  • The community has called on Cllr Darren Rodwell to take action
  • Rodwell has recently said he will evict people involved in knife crime

Residents discuss Darren Rodwell saying people with be evicted for knife crime

As our proud, patriotic country celebrated a milestone in our history, a once in a lifetime experience, an end of an era – as it could be called – Dagenham Heathway residents awoke to a taped off street, signs of violence, and feelings of alarm and distress.

On coronation weekend, in the early hours of May 6th Jordan Kukabu, 18, of Romford, was fatally stabbed near Reede Road and another man, 20, was stabbed but thankfully survived. Within 24 hours of this incident, another man was stabbed near High Road, Chadwell Heath, RM6.

Although some have forgotten, I can assure you the community hasn’t; Romford has been been facing steadily increasing rates of violence since the fall of 2022. Our Romford Recorder astoundingly revealed Havering’s crime rate skyrocketed by 28% – the largest increase in the whole of East London.

picture of darren rodwell, leader of barking and dagenham
Darren Rodwell

Speaking to the local community, it is clear residents do not feel safe in their local boroughs as of late. Many discuss the changes they’ve seen over the years, and many have called on Councilor Darren Rodwell to take actions that will assist in addressing the social issues Barking & Dagenham in particular faces.

Darren Rodwell recently announced that he will evict families who do not inform on people who commit knife crime, and Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, made it clear he does not agree with this plan as it ‘will make innocent people homeless’.

Indeed, some residents feel this is a nonsensical plan, one designed to ‘save face’. Tracy, a resident from Reede Road, RM10, says this is clearly just to make headlines so Darren appears to be “doing something for his floundering community”. But it has been polarising, as Michelle, from Sterry Road, RM10, feels it is “justified” and “time for parents to be held accountable for their children’s actions”.

Calum Carr, 47, of Dagenham for 12 years, strongly opposes the Councilor’s plans.

“This will put families in a very difficult position, because how do we decide whether somebody does have information to share? We may think they do? But we may not actually know.”

Calum believes the councilor’s plans may disproportionally affect black people.

“I don’t want to make this about race, as it is not a race issue. People of all colour in our part of London are involved in knife crime, as we’ve seen in the papers. But, the police, with all we’ve seen come out about them recently, definitely target darker people. So the councilor’s plans may target black families incorrectly.” He added.

Calum strongly opposed Darren Rodwell's plan to threaten eviction to people in knife crime

“Then there’s also the idea that this threat will actually reduce knife crime. What makes him think a young person relocating – who is obviously closely attached to his gang or circle of friends – will not return to the borough, even angrier than before?”

“This is just a silly idea no matter how you look at it. It will do nothing other than aggravate the issues driving young people to knife crime.”

Tracy is on the other end of the argument, and agrees with the councilor’s plans.

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“Knife crime will always exist, it’s about making it a rare occurrence and getting it under local police control. Making a young person feel they will cause that much damage to their family could be the kick up the backside they need to get their behaviour in order.”

“At this point our borough is going out of control. Just the other day I heard helicopters circling in Becontree yet again. We need to do something. And what the councilor is proposing might just be the sort of old school aggressive policing we need.”

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