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LOCAL RESIDENT'S SNAPS HELP FIGHT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

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A Camden resident's photographs of a drug addict provided vital evidence to secure an anti-social behaviour order (...
A Camden resident's photographs of a drug addict provided vital evidence to secure an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) to protect the community last week.

Highbury Corner magistrate's court granted an ASBO against Mohammed Hadie, of no fixed abode, on 16 August.

Camden LBC applied for the ASBO after numerous complaints about Mr Hadie's behaviour from members of the community and the council's own street wardens in Camden Town, north London.

The resident's photographs and a statement of evidence were presented anonymously to a court hearing by a police officer, alongside evidence from the police, street wardens and Camden Town ward councillor, Harriet Garland.

The evidence showed that Mr Hadie, who is also known by a number of different aliases, had been found with drugs paraphernalia on numerous occasions, had been sleeping rough in a lift and had been verbally abusive.

Under the terms of his ASBO he is banned from areas of the London Boroughs of Camden, Islington and Westminster. He is also prohibited from acting in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress anywhere in England and Wales, to prevent displacing the problem to other areas.

If he breaches the terms of his ASBO anywhere in the country he risks a potential jail sentence.

The Camden resident who wished to remain nameless said: 'I would encourage anybody to come forward as this type of hearsay evidence is increasingly gaining weight and protecting the anonymity of witnesses. The process was easy. I emailed the photographs to the council's district housing office and the anti-social behaviour action group. I was asked to give a statement and promised my anonymity would be protected. I am definitely very happy with the outcome of this case today.'

Louise Casey, head of the anti-social behaviour unit at the Home Office added: 'Local agencies need local people to come forward and take a stand - by collecting evidence of anti-social behaviour and reporting problems people can make a real difference to the communities where they live.

'Anti-social behaviour orders are one tool to tackle anti-social behaviour - they send a clear message that the problem will be tackled, not tolerated. Working together, the council and local residents can take action against the minority of people who make other people's lives a misery, deal with their behaviour and make sure the streets are safer for everyone.

To help support local people who tackle anti-social behaviour, we have set up the Taking A Stand Awards. I'd urge anyone in Camden who knows someone who has tackled anti-social behaviour to nominate them for an Award - visit www.takingastand.org or call 0800 085 2980.'

Anna Stewart, executive member for community safety added: 'Members of the community are a vital part of the ASBOs process and I want to thank all those who have taken the bold step to help us to improve quality of life in theirareas. Evidence from the community can be given entirely anonymously along with evidence collected by the police and the council's street wardens to show the court the need from an ASBO. I urge anyone with a concern about serious anti-social behaviour which is affecting their quality of life to contact us.'

Camden LBC and Camden Police have now obtained a total of 95 ASBOs since the legislation was introduced in 1998.

Notes:

Mr Hadie is of no fixed abode and gave the date of birth 25/12/1967.

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