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Archive for the ‘Security & cutting crime’ Category

It is reported that Addiscombe has relatively low crime figures but many residents will be aware of incidents such as graffiti, criminal damage, theft, burglary, assault, drug dealing and car theft. Oval Road has suffered recently from increased incidences of anti-social behaviour and a dispersal order has recently been issued in Cherry Orchard Road. The fear of crime and awareness of it has increased over the past years and this could be put down, in part, to the neglected and empty areas such as Cherry Orchard Gardens and Quest House providing blind spots in which criminal activity grows. Certainly, these areas are foreboding at night, with no human presence to offer a sense of security. It can be a very uncomfortable walk home from the station.

This planning application could help to alleviate many of these problems. The nature of an hotel is that it operates 24 hours a day, with staff and concierge always present, as well as guest coming and going at different times. The very presence of these people on Cherry Orchard Road is the first step in surveillance, as crime is often committed when criminals believe they are unseen. The new affordable housing will stretch along a length of Cherry Orchard Road, with balconies and windows looking directly over the street, providing vantage points above. The ground floor retail units beneath will have active frontages throughout the day and may be illuminated in the evening and night. Again, the new bars and restaurants will operate into the evening, with patrons observing the activity and people around them.

One of the greatest elements of a sense of community is when people look out for each other and also when people feel they are being looked out for by others. It is what helps to make us all responsible for ourselves and for each other.

People are also inspired and up-lifted by better surroundings. Areas which are run down or neglected fall more rapidly into decline, as they are seen as being insignificant and worthless;  better surroundings give rise to better behaviour and a greater appreciation of the immediate environment.

Quest House, Cross Road, empty and neglected

If the application succeeds and East Croydon undergoes its regeneration plan there could be more positive results. Companies like LondonNewcastle, who already have planning permission for Quest House in Cross Road, may have renewed confidence to undertake and pursue their own plans and to replace what are currently empty and neglected offices with smart and stylish new homes. Gradually, Addiscombe transforms and evolves for the better, increasing the security and safety of all its residents.

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