‘Rottweiler’ pensioner awarded for standing up to thugs

Alice Burke helps people fight back against gangs, crime and anti-social behaviour

A TENANT who has fought back against gangs on her estate has been given an award for her work.

Alice Burke, from the Nightingale Estate in Muir Road, Clapton, won the residents category at the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group Delivering Results Awards on November 2.

Mrs Burke, 73, was recognised for 25 years working tirelessly to motivate her community to stand up against gangs, drug dealing and prostitution.

She acts as a go-between between scared residents and the organisations, like the police and Hackney Homes, goes to court with witnesses and sits as a non-executive director of Hackney Homes.

“My belief is everybody should live in peace, they should be safe in their homes,” she said.

“I’ve got a big mouth and once I get something in my teeth I’m like a Rottweiler, I won’t let it go, I keep pushing until I get a result.

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“When I got the award, I was absolutely ecstatic, I couldn’t even believe it. I couldn’t even move for a couple of minutes.”

Mrs Burke became a community champion when she noticed a nearby flat was being used for drug dealing. She alerted police and prosecutions, and requests for help from fellow residents, followed. People come to me with everything from bullying by youths to neighbours playing music too loudly.

She praised Hackney Homes, Hackney Council, the police and other agencies, saying they “give 120 per cent”.

She said: “I don’t scare easily. I did have a death threat but I didn’t take that very seriously. I’ve had bricks through my car window and I get shouted at by youths. My family go crazy when they know I’m getting involved but victims should help other victims. You can’t be cowed if people stick together.”

Wayne Hylton, Hackney Homes’ estate safety manager, was also highly commended in the awards for tackling anti-social behaviour.

Chairman of Hackney Homes, Rupert Tyson, said, “We are extremely pleased that Alice and Wayne have been recognised in these awards and it is a great achievement to be chosen from so many applicants.”