|Posted on Friday, 16 February, 2007 - 09:55 pm: |
I was the victim of a robbery at the junction of Canonbie and Westwood Park on Thursday evening at about 9.40pm, involving three young men and a possible knife.
The police arrived very quickly and arrested the three shortly after, but they made the point that until recently the average across LB Lewisham was 14 robberies a night, until the fast response cars reduced this to 6.
I think we are lucky enough to live in a relatively low crime area in London, but this is a reminder to take care. Late commuters at a soft target.
|Posted on Friday, 16 February, 2007 - 10:09 pm: |
Here's a link to a Newshopper story about the recent police initiative to deal with robberies. It works as far as I can see:
http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/search/display.var.11 89261.0.police_task_force_aiming_to_turn_tables_on _street_robbers.php
|Posted on Friday, 16 February, 2007 - 11:33 pm: |
Hope you are OK Les - nasty experience - must have been frightening. Good news they arrested the culprits.
|Posted on Friday, 16 February, 2007 - 11:41 pm: |
Sorry to hear that Les. A security guard was robbed outside the Co-Op on Waldram Park Road just over three weeks ago and there is a yellow sign up about it. I have to say though these two crimes are the first of their kind that I have heard about in the area since I moved in 16 months ago so I think FH is a relatively safe area in London to live.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 12:42 am: |
Would be interesting to see where these scum came from.
Perhaps it will then be time for another big collective "thank you" to Lewisham for their policy of building estates in FH and Sydenham.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 07:55 am: |
Fhssecretary, your comment is a bit unnecessary, don't you think? Is this a comment on new low cost housing provision in the area?
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 08:09 am: |
Or should I say, a comment on the occupants of such provision? I doubt whether this will go down well with the many wonderful people who live on the various estates and do a lot of good work for their community many of whom may be existing and prospective members of the FHS.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 09:24 am: |
Hmmm, the police said the culprits weren't known to them, so either they were new to the job, or on some sort of mini-break from Peckham or Nunhead, which is outside their area. Certainly not from Forest Hill, too nice, I hope!
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 10:19 am: |
Perpetrators of public nuisance and street crime are quite mobile. They cause trouble on our estates as elsewhere, but often the trouble is caused by people who do not actually live on the estate. There were severe problems on the Tyson Road estate some years back, but when the police started writing to parents and moving towards various forms of caution, they found they were dealing with children from a wide area, including Peckham and Nunhead. Likewise, Crystal Palace Parade was something of a crime hotspot, largely because of young criminals coming there from all over. I don't imagine that young muggers consider it not quite the done thing to cross borough boundaries in pursuit of a victim.
For what it's worth, my experience was that the overwhelming majority of people living on our estates have similar values and behaviours - and similar anxieties - to everyone else's. Anyway, where are these estates which it is Lewisham's policy to build in Sydenham and Forest Hill?
Also the police handling of these incidents does seems to be better tuned now, and the article Les references is interesting reading. I noticed what was might have been a drugs handover in Devonshire Road recently, and then a few hundred yards down the road saw that the police had arrested one of those involved, and there is definitely more police activity around Dartmouth Road where I live too.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 12:20 pm: |
Good points all. What I meant was that I'm unconvinced of the wisdom of the past policies of building large areas of LA housing in the area (Tyson Rd, Greystead Rd, Wood Vale, Sydenham Hill) but that it would be interesting to know whether these places are indeed the source of such problems or whether they are from further afield. The location of this particular incident might suggest the former, given that it is a quiet residential street a bit off the beaten track. It's not too Daily Mail to assume that muggings tend not to be committed by people in gainful employment with their own houses, etc.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 12:56 pm: |
A PS to add that my main issue is that I think big estates create their own problems and are not the best way to house people.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 February, 2007 - 01:43 pm: |
The big estates question is a big issue, and the relationship between crime & disorder and poverty is even bigger!
If we were solving the post-war housing situation today, we wouldn't do what we did in the 1950-80 period, because we know what problems are associated with that type of housing. But, if you were a Council in London in the 1960s, you would have been faced with poor housing that no one now under 45 would really believe ever existed. When I became a Southwark councillor in 1971, there were still 30,000 people living in Southwark in tenements with shared lavatories, and in some cases shared (cold-only) water supply. There was appalling over-crowding of established communities and no hope for those with no local affiliations (Cathy Come Home etc). It's hardly surprising that Councils went for a mass-market solution. They also assumed that the relationship between poor housing on the one hand and poor health, poverty, poor education and poor behaviour on the other was strongly causal (we still make that assumption).
Many of the things we arer doing now may also seem pretty inexplicable in hindsight. These perhaps include: only building 160,000 houses per year when the number of households is increasing; public funding of private rented accommodation in a manner likely to result in small-scale ghettoisation; a Panglossian view of the over-dominance of the financial and professional service sectors in the Southern English economy and the consequences of the resulting income inequalities for the housing market.
I could go on, but I won't.
|Posted on Sunday, 18 February, 2007 - 05:29 pm: |
I was unfortunate enough to be attacked one evening around 11pm on my way home and had my bag snatched.
In that instance, not only did 6 neighbours respond to my scream for help, but the police arrived within 5 minutes. While it didn't get my bag back, it did make me feel slightly safer in that it's such an unusual occurrence that people felt they should/could come out to check the circumstances, chase the thief and make sure I was OK.
Incidentally, the police did drive me around the area - primarily to some of the local estates - to see if we could spot the guy.
|Posted on Monday, 19 February, 2007 - 07:15 pm: |
Really sorry to hear about your misfortune Les and Applespider (where were you mugged applespider??) ...I guess we can only try and keep vigilent for things like this and hope it does not happen too often. Although there are sometimes some unsavoury characters hanging around certain places hopefully we in SE23 are pretty safe. Out of interest does anyone out there know any stats on street robberies in our particular area??
|Posted on Monday, 19 February, 2007 - 09:06 pm: |
I remember when yellow Police incident boards went up on the long alleyway between Westwood Park and London Road, after someone was attacked there a few years ago.
My partner and I used the alley to walk to work in Sydenham, in winter, when we couldn't use Horniman Gardens because it was closed during the hours of darkness.
Our initial reaction was "Well, we won't walk there again!" But the alternative was a very long detour.
And the more we thought about it, the more we realised we had a duty to keep using the alleyway. If confident, assertive pedestrians like us, walking as a pair, wouldn't use the alley, then who would?
We felt it would become even less safe if we stopped walking there, so we resolved to use it as much as possible - even increasing the number of times we walked it.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust says busy places tend to be safe places. When places become deserted, they are left wide open to anti-social behaviour and much, much worse.
I was really sorry to read about Les's bad news. I'm sure the incident must have dented Les's self-confidence, at least temporarily. But if you want Forest Hill to stay a safe place to live, and you're confident enough about your personal safety, then walk it, and encourage your friends and neighbours to walk it - as much as you can.
|Posted on Monday, 19 February, 2007 - 11:03 pm: |
On the fringes of SE23, along Wood Vale, just as I turned into my driveway. Thankfully, I heard the gravel crunch behind me and turned to confront the guy. Lesson learned was to scream before telling him to f' off - and when playing tug of war with a handbag, hold the body of the bag rather than the straps.
Police gave the usual advice of don't walk home on your own in the dark but realistically that's not an option. I'm more wary when walking along now and I'm prepared to scream blue murder just in case but I'm still walking.
It did take me a while to get over it - I used to jump if I heard anyone coming up behind me. Hope you get over it quicker Les.
|Posted on Tuesday, 20 February, 2007 - 09:08 am: |
I once opened my bedroom door to find a burglar on the landing (he scarpered double quick). It was about a year before I could sleep peacefully through the night.
This loss of self-confidence is the biggest aggravation - it used to make me so mad that some idiot could have caused me so much distress for so long.
I hope you get over it quickly too, Les.
|Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2007 - 12:42 am: |
Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. It's been a great relief to me that main guy has been remanded in custody until late April. The other two got cautions, one for carrying a large screwdriver, I guess not for a spot of late night DIY.
|Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2007 - 08:35 am: |
A custodial sentence for possession of an offensive weapon would have been even more reassuring...
What deterrent is there in a telling off?
|Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2007 - 01:20 pm: |
Les I symphasize and despair at our Justice System. Just because the prisons are nearly full they let robbers of with a fine.
I have suggested we outsource and prison problem just as we outsource everything else. I am sure countries such as Algeria or Turkey would be happy to be paid to look after our prisoners. Watch the human rights complaints then
|Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2007 - 01:24 pm: |
In Norway there is a waiting list for a prison place. If you receive a custodial sentence there, you wait until a cell becomes free!
|Posted on Thursday, 22 February, 2007 - 11:33 pm: |
Oh I don't despair. I think a couple of months locked up (even if not convicted) for the leader and two new characters now formally 'known' to the police, is quite a result. I think it's quite likely the main man will get a custodial sentance.
|Posted on Friday, 23 February, 2007 - 07:14 am: |
I would like to think I would be as charitable to the offenders as you if the same happened to me.
Glad you are OK
|Posted on Thursday, 26 July, 2007 - 12:05 pm: |
Pleased to report, after several months of waiting, the offender was found guilty of attempted robbery at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday. Both the police and court service were very professional and supportive. A custodial sentance is expected. It's a relief to be honest.
|Posted on Friday, 27 July, 2007 - 12:15 am: |
I'm glad that this has come to a satisfactory conclusion for you Les.
|Posted on Saturday, 28 July, 2007 - 07:42 pm: |
Hi Les - Yes am glad you can draw a line under this now - it must be a big relief for you. Let hope these characters do not re-offend.