A HOUSING trust responsible for regenerating homes on the North Circular in Enfield is confident it is tackling long-standing problems of squatting, crime, and flytipping.

Politicians, police officers, and officials went on a walkabout on the stretch of the A406 through Bowes, seeing the work underway to breath new life into the area.

Thirty-nine houses which were being used as squats have been cleared since January, with more raids planned in July to tackle the remaining 11 illegal occupations of derelict homes.

Lee Rider, an environmental crime officer from Enfield Council, said squatters were to blame for many of the issues blighting the area, and credited Notting Hill Housing Trust, the firm responsible for delivering the regeneration project, for doing the “dirty work” to tackle the problems.

He said: “Since the arrival of Notting Hill, they've been able to put resources and money into finally dealing with the problems that have been widely accepted by residents as a way of life.

“The problems have only been resolved because there has been someone prepared to buy the properties and invest into the North Circular.

“I've known this area to be way down there in the gutter. I've had to deal with the problems day in, day out and respond to the moans and groans with very little success. Now we are able to give this area the right attention it deserves.”

The regeneration project is approaching halfway to completion, prompting the walkabout led by David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate.

He said: “It is great seeing the reality of regeneration and an area coming back to life.

“We want this to be a place the community can be proud of, somewhere people don't see as a deprived area but as a real area of regeneration.”

To stop the area slipping backwards, contractor Durkan which is carrying the work to renovate derelict houses, has employed a security firm which patrols the area at night.

Shaun Sheldrake, a Durkan director, told the Enfield Independent that squatters have tried to get back into the homes after being evicted but none have so far been successful.

He said the buildings are stripped of toilets, electric sockets, water supply, and the entrances are covered with metal boards, adding: “We are starting to tip the balance that people know they are not going to get back in.”