Forest Gate neighbours speak out after shooting and stabbing

Gower Road street sign

Neighbours in Forest Gate say Gower Road is becoming a no go area thanks to drug dealers. - Credit: Jon King

Neighbours have warned it is "only a matter of time" before someone is killed after a man was found shot and stabbed two weeks ago.

Families living in Forest Gate spoke out after police were called twice to Dunbar Road near where the victim was found on December 19.

Two days later armed police were in the same road after reports of gunshots. No one was injured.

Dunbar Road

Police were called to Dunbar Road, Forest Gate, twice this week. - Credit: Jon King

The worried residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, say problems with drug dealing and anti-social behaviour have plagued their streets for at least three years.

They identified an alleyway in Gower Road as a particular hotspot.

One man said: "When you have a stabbing and a shooting you scratch your head thinking what else needs to happen before [the authorities] take it seriously?

"It's only a matter of time before someone loses their life."

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The neighbours described drug dealing proliferating in Gower Road, saying "intimidating" and "arrogant" pushers play "cat and mouse" with the police.

A second neighbour said: "We're afraid for our families. We would never be worried about walking down the road, but now think twice."

A third, who has lived in Forest Gate for 35 years, added: "It's got to the stage where we feel this is the new norm for us and we have to tolerate it."

He described dealers going around thinking they are "pretty much untouchable".

"There's a mafia-type attitude to how they conduct themselves," he said.

A fourth neighbour speculated the gunshots in Dunbar Road on Monday, December 21 were fired in a revenge attack as part of a gang war between dealers.

"[The situation] is making our lives a hell," he said.

They urged the police to step up patrols and do more to target dealers, but acknowledged cuts to police numbers had an impact.

A fifth resident said: "We have a responsibility to report crime. We have been doing that.

"We're not saying we don't accept our responsibility. But what is really upsetting and demoralising is the people we've gone to don't appear to be able to fulfil theirs.

"Daily life has become miserable because of a relatively small group of people that has been allowed to grow without impunity," he added.

The Met have not commented, but confirmed both incidents. There have been no arrests.