Hackney flats suffer persistent break-ins after landlord L&Q fails to fix front door for a whole month

A file image of keys. Landlord L&Q has failed to fix the broken door of a Hackney tower block for a

A file image of keys. Landlord L&Q has failed to fix the broken door of a Hackney tower block for a month, leading to a spate of burglaries. - Credit: Archant

Gangs of masked thieves have taken to stealing bikes from a block of flats where a housing association has left the front door broken for a whole month.

London and Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q) has no date set to fit the door - which gives access to the whole of the new build in Hackney – with “a more robust locking mechanism to stop it from being pried open”.

In the meantime criminals have become wise to the security failing and five bikes and a motorbike have been stolen so far from the underground garage.

One resident even disturbed a group of five masked youths down there a week ago – who he bravely chased out.

But by the next day another robber had gained entry to the block, kicked down the bike store door and used an angle grinder to steal another bike.

Worried resident Steve Curtis, who part-owns one of the 100 properties there, told the Gazette: “Lots of thieves know about this. Our frustration is we aren’t getting any support from L&Q – they have been aware of these problems and haven’t fixed them for some time.

“What frustrated me personally is when we called L&Q on Friday we were told it wasn’t an emergency because we can lock our own front doors, so for the whole Christmas period it hasn’t been fixed. Residents are very angry and feel unsupported.”

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He continued: “We understand things take some time to fix but you don’t expect a new build to have these problems.

“The police are concerned L&Q is creating an antisocial hotspot – it’s a place where thieves can successfully steal a bike and it causes the police more strain.”

The car park gates were also left broken for six months earlier this year.

A spokesman for L&Q was unable to contact the contractor yesterday to provide an update on progress or a completion date, but apologised to residents for the security issues.

“We take the security of our residents seriously and understand how distressing this spate of break-ins has been,” he said.

“We have already installed a combination lock to the bike store door and replaced the car park gates. We are now looking at what further steps we can take to ensure the building is secure. We will continue to work with local police and residents to make further improvements.”