Anger rises on ‘shotgun’ estate

Fishermead Emergencey meeting at Trinity Centre'''Wk23 MPMC
Fishermead Emergencey meeting at Trinity Centre'''Wk23 MPMC

MULTIPLE occupancy homes on the city’s crisis estate are crammed with up to EIGHTEEN young men at a time, say residents.

The claims came at a packed public meeting organised to gather views after the double shooting on Fishermead.

The shooting of the two Somalian teenagers has rocked the estate’s several hundred strong East African community and terrified families of every other nationality.

And, despite police reassurance of extra patrols and vigilance, the residents had once concern that could not be solved –the growing number of HiMOs and resulting population explosion on the streets.

“Houses of multiple occupancy are the main cause of all the problems,” said Councillor Isabella Fraser.

The audience applauded her as she sobbed: “Milton Keynes Council has got to get a handle on this. People on this estate are heartily sick of it. I have one thing to say to those staff at Milton Keynes Council and that is, get your act together.”

One resident said: “People are living here 18 to one house. They are young men with no jobs who hang about the estate with nowhere to go. I have lived here since the homes were built and I have seen it change. We do not feel safe any more. I am scared to go out walking at nights.

“It’s not the Somalian community that is the problem, it’s the sheer amount of people living on this estate.”

Other residents fear the shootings have exacerbated any existing racial tensions and could cause a community divide when the estate should be working together.

Police, keen to dispel these tensions, have stressed that it is not even known whether the murderer came from the Somalian community.

Said superintendent Rob Mason: “We do not care what colour, creed or religion the person who did this is. We have an 18-year-old boy and a 19-year-old boy who have been killed and we don’t care what colour or religion they were.

All we want is to find out who has done it,” he added to a round of applause. Mr Mason, who confirmed the gun used in the shooting had not yet been found, said he believed people could still be hiding information and urged them to come forward, in confidence if preferred.

Police neighbourhood officer Inspector Coleen Lavery told the audience: “Police can do nothing to change the law on multiple occupancy but we can still be your voice. If anyone has problems with unsuitable housing we can make sure they are referred to the right agency.”

Police will be addressing another public meeting to be held on the evening of Sunday, July 19 at the Trinity Centre. Meanwhile, in a bid to solve the problem of teenagers on the street, the council’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Support officer has invited all families to a meeting at the same venue tomorrow (Friday) at 2pm to develop a programme of activities.