Haringey’s borough commander has angrily denied claims police are “too scared” to support large scale public events in Tottenham in the wake of the 2011 riots.
The force refused to deploy officers to manage a street parade on Monday after organisers failed to obtain permission from Transport for London to have the High Road closed off.
The Tottenham Traders' Partnership (TTP), which organised the event, criticised police for what it called a lack of support, but Haringey’s borough commander Victor Olisa angrily hit back at the claims.
He said: “I’m really disappointed they have taken that line. We had been speaking with the traders and exchanging emails about arranging policing for this event for some time.
“They didn’t have permission to close the road and I’m not prepared to deploy officers to give the illusion of safety when cars would continue to be allowed through - we can’t act without the appropriate powers.
“I’ve been here a year and have pushed through and supported a huge number of public events across the borough in that time.
“I want Tottenham to regain the narrative of the area – not have the negative views of outsiders taking over. We want people to be talking about the good elements of Tottenham and these views from the traders disappoint me – it is a nonsense.”
Despite the cancellation of the parade, the Easter Street Party went ahead on Monday, with three linked events on the High Road between White Hart Lane and Seven Sisters.
Classic cars that were due to form part of the parade drove up and down the High Road at Monday's event
Moaz Nanjuwany, of the TTP, said organisers had done what they could to make the most of the situation, but he was left disappointed the parade had to be cancelled.
He said: “We feel like everyone should get behind events like this and it didn’t feel like we had the support from the police or the council.
“We were forced to cancel the parade just two weeks before the event, which was dispiriting and disruptive for the organisations that were due to attend.
“It seems they are scared to support big events in Tottenham, but we showed that there is nothing to worry about.”
A spokesman from Haringey Council said: “The Easter Street Parade was proposed by the Tottenham Traders Partnership (TTP) who requested that a section of the High Road be shut off for several hours to accommodate a parade.
“Given that the High Road is a Transport for London managed route the Tottenham Traders Partnership were required to go through an application process with TfL to shut off the road.
“This was not achieved in time for Easter but the TTP did still host an Easter event and were given advice and guidance from the council in arranging this.”