Letter to Editor: Green Party candidate slams presence of motorbikes in The Stow

Crime / Sat 1st Jun 2024 at 06:23am

Dear Editor,

LAST month, YourHarlow reported the launch of an initiative at The Stow: Clear, Hold, Build. 

This Home Office-backed scheme aims to bring together public services to tackle offending and address underlying issues affecting the local community.

The aim is to produce sustained, long-term change in places that have been blighted by serious and organised crime by pursuing offenders, breaking up and dispersing gangs, and creating strong, resilient neighbourhoods.  After an incident I witnessed on Friday afternoon at The Stow, they need to stop taking photo opportunities and start being present in the precinct.

On 31 May, I was at The Stow around 1.30pm when I saw two masked youths, dressed head to foot in black, ride their motorbikes through the pedestrianised area and on the nearby playing fields with no concern for the safety of others.   I called 101, as advised at a public meeting earlier in the year,  to alert the police to the fact that they may wish to witness what was happening in broad daylight and to allay the concerns of the shoppers present.  It took 19 minutes before my call was answered by a call handler who would not disclose where they were located but just kept repeating that they cover the whole of Essex.  The administrative county is 1,338 square miles (3,465 square km)and the geographic county, 1,419 square miles (3,674 square km) with a population of 1,506,300.  

I asked if Paul Austin, the Harlow District Commander Chief Inspector, could be sent a copy of my recorded call.  Unfortunately, the call handler did not know who Paul Austin was.

When  I attended the public meeting, (with the panel of five white males), at The Stow and voiced my concerns about the safety of women,  Roger Hirst suggested that I was in the minority as sexual assault is down by 7% and that 77% of the public are confident in Essex Police to provide them with the security and safety they need and are entitled to.

Out of every £100 of council tax, Essex County Council receive £71,  Harlow Council around £13.50 and Essex Police £11.50.  

If the Police are serious about this initiative, I suggest that the police officers start patrolling on foot and bikes around this area and to fully engage with the residents who were not feeling secure and safe on the afternoon of 31 May, but then again, what can we expect for £11.50.  


Yasmin Gregory

Green Party candidate

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26 Comments for Letter to Editor: Green Party candidate slams presence of motorbikes in The Stow:

2024-06-01 06:52:21

Were they not electric bikes?

2024-06-01 07:11:57

RayMo, get hit by an electric bike at full speed and your next stop could be A&E or the mortuary. Besides, the point is, at the least problem is about public safety and antisocial behaviour and at the all two frequent worst, drug dealing. Riders like these wear face coverings and can be seen all round the town.

2024-06-01 08:02:28

The stow again, wonders never cease!

2024-06-01 08:12:15

These kids are running drugs, I've seen them drop off multiple times. They meet their customer, do a quick exchange and then ride away. Very convenient, bit like Deliveroo but instead of a Burger King it's heroin.

2024-06-01 08:30:03

Blimey, coming from Nostradamus that's worrying.

Guy Flegman
2024-06-01 08:44:58

Don’t understand the reference to “ 5 white males” . Seems a bit racist and bigotry to me, but then what do I know.

2024-06-01 09:24:01

Same happening in the town park. Picking up drugs in Park court/Netteswell tower and delivering through the park.

2024-06-01 09:36:33

Questions for Yasmin Gregory. 1. Why make such a point of white men leading the conversation? I do recall that lots of ladies also contributed to the conversation. Skin colour is of no significance! 2. We all know the negatives, what positive suggestions do you have? 3. Rome was not built in a day, how do you propose to "build" Rome in a day?

2024-06-01 11:03:15

Guy and Darren. I said exactly the same as you at the time. What's the colour and gender got to do with it. She seems to like to mention this each time.

2024-06-01 11:14:47

People like the author of the article have a good point attacking the disgraceful way Harlow is policed. She loses the argument when she goes on about gender and colour. You won't get my vote. That said shame they didn't plow into the boy and his entourage when they did the photoshoot recently there. I bet there would have been wall to wall coppers then.

2024-06-01 12:28:47

We had the same trouble in Bush fair a few weeks back. A petrol engined pit motor cycle with a passenger came through the precinct at an alarming speed the 5 minutes later they did it again. I called the police and after about 15 minutes someone answered said they would see if a car was nearby, by this time the riders had long gone. Even some local proprietors had repeated called the police and nothing. Just what is going on its rediculous these youngsters seem not to care less about the police.

2024-06-01 12:42:47

There is .no racism involved here otherwise how can the police or any witness discern between white yellow Black or light brown. Even many official papers have the choice of ethnic status.

Just Saying
2024-06-01 12:57:14

Darren, Turkey and Jasper, Could it not be that the writer was suggesting that out of a diverse demographic of 80,000 the panel being all white males indicates a significant lack of inclusivity and representation of race and gender.

2024-06-01 13:29:18

At the recent hustings Yasmin showed she had a great sense of humour. I suspect her comments with regard to five males was made because you had them discussing the safety of women and being male they would not have the same perspective as a woman would. Do men behave differently to women, ask yourself, would Teresa May have been treated the way she was had she been male, same for Liz Truss and Maggie Thatcher. On to the motor bike riders, I doubt this is specific to the stow or even our current age. However, I have yet to see police on foot patrol. I do see a lot of cyclists and electric bike/scooter riders of all ages. They are potentially dangerous yet there are no signs about no cycling-I thought there used to be but perhaps I am wrong

Female stow resident
2024-06-01 13:30:38

I'm absolutely confused by this post? So we are now ragging on kids riding BIKE (motor) thought the stow on a Friday afternoon while calling people out for being white and throwing in some stats about sexual abuse just to complete ya scare mongering post? Also I pretty sure not every one knows every manager in there organisation so let not rag on some doing a day's work either. Please explain what you hoped to gain from this post?

2024-06-01 14:51:37

Legal e-bikes are pedal assist and limited to 15mph . The majority of bikes used by these people are illegally modified motorbikes. Cyclists on standard non electric bikes have killed pedestrians after crashing into them, imagine the damage these will do. Anyone passing judgement on someone trying to raise the issue needs their head read. These things are ridden throughout the town, largely on pavements and cycle tracks at well in excess of 15mph with no need to pedal. Usually the riders are young men covering their lower faces and wearing head to toe black covering. Potential drug dealing aside, the use of these bikes in any public space is illegal. With the speed these were being in the ridden it's only a matter of time before there's a fatality. The unfortunate fact is behaviour like this is being accepted and allowed. Thr criminal element is free to carry out their illegal activities unchallenged

Just Saying
2024-06-01 17:14:21

Turkey, no that’s not what I was saying. You assume a lot. I was stating a fact. And you’re suggesting that perhaps the diverse side of Harlow couldn’t be bothered to vote. As the ballot is anonymous it’s not possible to analyse if the proportion of non voters were black, white, green, purple, male or female was higher than white males. We will never know.

2024-06-01 19:17:38

It's not anonymous, they write the number on your voting slip against your name when you vote. Not sure how easy it would be to match it up, bit it's definitely not anonymous

Genevieve Bolton
2024-06-01 19:20:49

The fact that 5 males on the panel was mentioned is pertinent because one of the topics discussed & agreed on by the panel was that women now felt safer in Harlow & in the Stow. Unless I'm mistaken, I dont believe any type of survey was carried out to ask women exactly how safe they felt in Harlow or in The Stow? I could be wrong, but to memory, no statistics were read out? In my opinion, this article is bang on the money. Drug runners, thugs & undesirables often frequent The Stow when the people who live there, work there & shop there were promised faithfully that 'things would change'. So what has changed? A big fat nothing as far as I can see!! Crime stoppers signage has been installed on a couple of walls, but is that it? I attended the Stow meeting in the Skipper a few weeks back & everything sounded so promising? The good people of The Stow & its visitors deserve more, much more. They deserve to feel safe, happy & confident to live, work & shop without fear of being run down by a masked rider! The Stow should be afforded the respect it deserves with its selection of shops, amazing shop owners!!

Mick king gurd
2024-06-01 23:30:30

On the plus side the parking wardens are a physical presence in the stow 24/7

2024-06-01 23:58:15

Mick King Gurd. Shame the police aren't as eager to nab people like the parking wardens.

2024-06-02 15:45:42

Maybe we should allow our police the powers to tactical ram those feral drug runners off their bikes and not have to worry about the consequences. After all "live by the sword, Die by the sword"

Allan Wallace
2024-06-03 18:15:49

I love these comments. Every one of the people here assuming "must be drugs" etc. While speculation is fun, it leads to nothing but baseless anger. Let's be realistic here, the issue isn't what they're using the bikes for - it's HOW they're using them. Take issue with that. Also, for those suggesting that the police simply just "stop them" etc - find a bobby who's willing to put their own health and safety at risk attempting to stop one of these things - especially when a social delinquent is riding it.

2024-06-04 13:43:45

They are drug runners.. Seen them do it myself on numerous occasions.

Allan Wallace
2024-06-06 19:26:44

Anna, do you believe they're all at it then? Or do you think perhaps, there are some who just think it's cool to ride about like idiots? Or should we just start arming police with firearms and have them take them out the moment anyone in black clothing on a scooter shows up? Dunce.

2024-06-09 11:13:48

You push the morons off or throw something in the front wheel, end of You fight fire with fire!

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