Building on a sense of community spirit

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

THE troubled Fishermead estate is looking to rebuild its reputation after being in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Concerned residents are now working closely with neighbourhood associations on projects that will build a stronger sense of community spirit following the murders of Mohamed Abdi Farah and Amin Ahmed Ismail in May 2011.

Their violent deaths followed an arson attack on a property in Fishermead in September 2010 in which Bola Ejifunmilayo, 29, and her three-year-old daughter died.

Andrew O’Hanlon, acting inspector, of Thames Valley Police, works on the neighbourhood team in Milton Keynes.

He said drug related crime on Fishermead was down by more than 20 per cent with serious violence reduced by more than 40 per cent in the last year.

He added: “Communications between ourselves and residents have improved significantly. We have had officers out every day this week talking to residents and on the night of the sentencing in the murder case we had officers out leafleting the area.

“We have seen these murders and the arson in the area but need to move away from this idea that these things only happen on Fishermead.

“We are working with a number of associations to break down barriers between ourselves and residents.

“We all need to work together on this because what we are doing is positive. If we do that people will feel like they are making a difference. Now is the time to bring things down to a sense of normality.”

Adan Kahin represents the Fishermead Somali Community Association.

He said: “The community has had meetings about the future and formed a youth club in Springfield and a homework club in Fishermead. We need to learn lessons as a community about what has happened. Mohamed and Amin were big parts of the community.

“We are working with the police and Fishermead Residents Association to talk about how we can build and come together.”