Offer of help is music to campaigners’ ears
Published by The Hamsptead and Highgate Express – Wednesday 12th December 2002
Copyright: The Hamsptead and Highgate Express
A BOSS at MTV’s parent company has pledged to help campaigners in their war against drugs and crime in Camden Town.
Dwight Tierney, the vice-president at Viacom Outdoor, specialists in advertising, said the company wanted to play a part in helping to clean up the community.
In October, Mr Tierney hit out at inadequate policing in the borough after Viacom had to foot the £750,000 cleaning bill for an illegal rave in one of its buildings in Jamestown Road.
He said there were too few officers to police the rising tide of violent crime and drug pushers.
It is hoped that the company will now help community action groups in Camden Town advertise their work with poster campaigns or provide recording facilities for possible broadcasts.
Speaking at a public meeting held at St Michael’s Church Hall, in Greenland Street, on Thursday last week, he said: “If you give us a plan where you think we can be helpful we will. We are not going to write cheques to everybody, but we are going to use our resources and help you get the message across because that is what we do best.
“We came to Camden Town because the vibe here is one we all found very interesting and exciting to be a part of and the fact that it isn’t mainstream in its approach.”
However, he added that staff had become increasingly afraid of walking in the area at night because of a rise in violent crime.
He also said drug users were often seen shooting up in alleys around Viacom’s premises.
“The problems for us have been ongoing issues with drugs and violence and intimidation, and just outright theft in some cases,” he said.
The meeting was organised by Jennie Matthias, of Camden Town art workshop S TEEM.
Members of various action groups, tenants associations, councillors, police, children from Camden’s estates and nightclub managers came along to suggest ways of combating Camden Town’s crime problem.
Ms Matthias, of Arlington Road, said: “We have got the community involved because we are concerned about the drugs, drink, crime and murder, and we are worried about what is happening to our children, ourselves and our elderly.”
Roger Robinson, Camden councillor for St Pancras and Somers Town, said: “If we work as a team we will beat this drug and crime issue and we will do it by our own efforts.”