At Marble Arch London, we are always looking to improve our understanding of the issues facing the area and our members. We commit to completing regular night-time audits of the district in order to experience the area in the dark and identify where we can improve trading conditions and make the area safe and welcoming.
On Wednesday 17 November 2021, we were out from 6pm-9pm with our dedicated Neighborhood Coordinator from Westminster City Council, assessing the entire BID area for signs of vulnerability to crime and anti-social behaviour. We looked at lighting levels, known bedding down spots and areas identified to us by both businesses and residents that are prone to anti-social behaviour. We intentionally tour the area avoiding the Marble Arch Street Team, so that we can see the issues first hand and as any user of the district would experience it.
Our search was also informed by Metropolitan Police crime statistics which we receive daily, that we use to identify hotspot areas. Examples of this are theft from vehicles in Connaught Square and Norfolk Crescent, and a high level of phone robbery on Chapel Street. In both areas we found that several street lights were not working and that there were gaps in lighting, causing the area at street level to be very dark and enabling criminals to remain hidden while they commit crime.
With the darker nights now upon us, lighting was a key focus of our audit this time. We found that 11 street lights were not working (listed below), and these have all been reported to the City Council. We also noted areas that would benefit from increased lighting, and we have already held site meetings with City Council officers to discuss these and agree a plan of action.
- Cabbell Street – 1
- Chapel Street – 2
- Connaught Square – 3
- Connaught Street – 1
- Kendal Street – 1
- Wallenberg Place – 3
We are aware of three new lighting columns on Connaught Place that remain unconnected to power, these are being resolved separately by Westminster Council and UKPN.
All known bedding down spots were checked and no rough sleepers were seen. We also checked quieter residential streets to the east and west of Edgware Road for anti-social behaviour, including streets behind Waitrose where we receive regular reports of problems.
Our audit also gave us a chance to see our night-time economy members in action. It was refreshing to see so many pubs, bars, casinos and restaurants busy with customers and we welcome the fact that both our local, and the wider London, area is seeing the highest footfall since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
If you notice any streetlights that are not working, please report directly to the council via Westminster ‘Report It’. Our Street Team consistently report issues to the City Council, however it always helps if other businesses and residents do too.
If you would like to find out more about our work, or highlight any issues that your business is facing, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org