SE23.com - The Official Forum for Forest Hill & Honor Oak, London SE23
Online since 2002  -  10,000+ members

Home | SE23 Topics | Shops & Services | Wider Topics | Offered/Wanted/Lost/Found | Advertising | Contact
Geddes Hairdressing & Barbering Studio One Armstrong & Co Solicitors Adult Learning Lewisham


Post Reply  Post Topic 
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »
Violence etc in F Hill
Author Message
davyj1


Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #1
05-05-2013 04:03 PM

I'm sorry this is a bit of a rant but having just got back from FH Sainsburys I'm wondering what's going on with this area.

I'm very pleased with the sprouting up of several cool and artsy cafés and the area finally improving what with the Pools etc BUT we are still swamped with the violent, antisocial dross of society.

Walking back today on a Sunday mid afternoon i did a double take as a young man in 20's or 30's walked past me in an agitated way and when i looked closer he was bleeding heavily from his head with blood all over his arm. I turned on impulse to see him reaching into a council cleaning trolley to grab an implement that would make a good weapon, presumably for his revenge attempt. Fortunately another guy seemed to dissuade him.

A few days ago i was in Sainsburys again when a pack of 15 or more boys in Forest Hill School Uniforms ran in with the intent of catching a couple amongst them who were the victims and in front of me i see a larger boy punching a smaller boy hard in the face amongst other incidents.

If i ever manage to walk the length of Dartmouth Road without passing a lovely character shouting angry expletives into a phone in-between gobbing large quantities of their saliva onto the pavement then it's an unusual day.

Apart from the seemingly regular violent incidents in Forest Hill, Dartmouth Road is as ever a place where many idiots in cars or motorbikes think it's a good place to open up the throttle and get to 50 or 60 along a busy shopping street, nicely negotiating between the ineffective speed bumps.
I'm not bringing up small children here but if i was one of the many people who are then i would be banging on the door of the police and whoever else to get a speed camera or something to stop these brainless psychos.

I know this is South London but it's starting to feel like the Bronx. Seriously, what's going on and what can we do? Do we need more police on the streets of FH?

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,198
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
05-05-2013 04:25 PM

This afternoon's incident happened on the train, where the man in question was attacked - a bottle to the head. The culprits had got on the train in Croydon but, given that they disappeared up the alley opposite Sainsburys, I think they probably did live locally.

If you witnessed anything else that may assist the police I would recommend you get in contact on the non-emergency number 101. Unfortunately the police took 15 minutes to respond to my call (I know it was 15 minutes because that was the length of the call in my phone history), the first on the scene treated the victim and only the back up a few minutes later 'gave chase'. I did not feel this response time was good enough especially as they already had a report of the incident before I called.

Hopefully somebody knows who was involved or saw something suspicious around Derby Hill, Derby Hill Crescent and can provide further leads to the police. There are also CCTV cameras at the station.

Unfortunately just one or two individuals can make the whole place seem unsafe, but in general Forest Hill is still a safe place where people look out for each other.

Other than that we had a lovely food fair today and everybody was very cheerful and enjoying Forest Hill at it's best. Lots more happening over the next couple of weekends with Havelock Walk open studio and the SEE3 market on the 18th May.

Find all posts by this user Reply
davyj1


Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #3
05-05-2013 05:04 PM

'One or two individuals' ?? Gosh they have many disguises.

Positive spiel about the area is all well and good.. Denial is another thing.
Yes i love the food markets and quality food shops we are getting, the butcher's and Aga's Deli etc but why is there no deterrent to the numerous (not 'one or two') undesirables out there dragging the place down?

No comments about the frequent speeding up and down Dartmouth Rd past parked cars where small kids wouldn't see them coming?

Maybe it's just me!

Find all posts by this user Reply
Chris88


Posts: 43
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #4
05-05-2013 07:42 PM

Davy what you are describing sounds like nearly every high street in London.......

Forest Hill is nicer than its ever been and is one of the nicer areas in South London.

Crime, statistically and from what I can tell is the same if not less than the average borough in London and the surrounding area. Check out the official statistics from the Metropolitan Police website.

Find all posts by this user Reply
shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #5
05-05-2013 10:35 PM

Disturbing that in the news recently Lewisham is supposed to be the worst borough in the uk for violent crime. I think we do need to know what the police's strategy is for doing something about this.

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 458
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #6
05-05-2013 10:40 PM

I personally feel that there should be CCTV cameras on the alleyway opposite Sainsburys, there was a recent mugging there I believe and it has in the past been used for access to back gardens in order to commit a string of burglaries. A few cameras would be of great benefit.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #7
06-05-2013 07:13 AM

This is nothing new. We are in an inner city town and these things happen. Just because we've got some nice new coffee bars and trendy shops and a few people coming in from some more expensive areas doesn't mean that these disturbing things will magic themselves away.

I absolutely agree that better policing and cctv in the centre of Forest Hill would deter the opportunistic criminal but I don't hold out too much hope for us having an increased police presence due to their already overstretched resources.

I would be very surprised if there weren't already some initiatives on the table with the FHSoc or other local groups and, whilst this is a subject that lots of people clearly want to sweep under the carpet, it would be very healthy and helpful if we try to keep this thread going as openly as possible with comments and suggestions on how to make things better.

Does anyone know how much it would cost to have a police community support officer patrol of the main town centre area and its alleyways from say 8am to 8pm? Or possibly a private security firm? Perhaps this is something that could be shared funded by government and local businesses (where there's a scale of fees with small shops each paying say £5 per week and businesses like Sainsburys, Barclays, Santander and Wetherspoons pay £100 (thinking about it, for that kinda money we could get a proper Rambo out there!)).

Seriously though, there must be hundreds of ex-servicemen who'd jump at the prospect of earning a decent wage to patrol a nice friendly town like ours, instead of a middle-east war zone. Hopefully Sainsbury's would be able to offer our man respite in their staff canteen etc. I really think this is worth exploring.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Delilah


Posts: 7
Joined: May 2013
Post: #8
06-05-2013 07:27 AM

As far as the "incident" is concerned I agree that this is just one of those things that happen in high concentrations of people.

Originally a west Londoner I have lived here since Nov '11 and neither my teenage kids nor I have experienced any crime to date. We love the facilities that Forest Hill has to offer and feel that the regeneration of Dartmouth Road is making a huge difference to the feel of the area.

I do however feel that the speed some people drive around the back streets is quite astounding. I live in a 20 mile an hour zone and regularly have to dodge cars rocketing at 60 miles an hour... I would happily buy a speed camera MYSELF and donate the profits to a children's charity!!

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #9
06-05-2013 09:12 AM

This might be a step in the right direction

http://policeauthority.org/Metropolitan/.../handbook/

Find all posts by this user Reply
Glasshalffull


Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #10
06-05-2013 09:22 AM

davyj1 wrote 'I know this is South London but it's starting to feel like the Bronx'

Come on davy get a grip, like the Bronx!!! I have lived in FH for 40 years in that time I have seen it be a lovely place to live with a high street full of small independent shops, it has been a dump and now it is trying to become a decent place to live again.

While it is nice to have decent shops, remember it is people that define an area not shopping/eating facilities. It takes time to go through a social cleansing exercise, ask our friends in East Dulwich (especially around Lordship Lane) but is that what we really want? Increasing house prices will see more affluent people moving to the area which will over time see those who some consider to be less welcome move on.

I have noticed more posts recently related to crime and a number of them have involved the alley opposite Sainsburys; perhaps the police could concentrate their limited patrols in this area?

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #11
06-05-2013 09:44 AM

I agree with you. That alleyway seems to be a problem so it might even be an idea to have some posters made up to warn muggers that it is being closely watched.

I've got £50 ready to donate to some form of community-based crime prevention scheme as soon as someone wants to kick this off.

On another matter, GlassHalfFull, after living in FH for 40 years I reckon it's time to change your name. With property prices as they are right now how about 'GlassOverflowing'? - unless you're renting, in which case it'll be more like 'SwappedGlassForPaperCup'.

;^)~

Find all posts by this user Reply
Erekose


Posts: 528
Joined: May 2010
Post: #12
06-05-2013 11:32 AM

Whatever is 'wrong' with FH has happened to it in the last 15 years or so. When we moved here in the 1980's it seemed a much more peaceful place. I may be biased here having been the victim of three crimes in as many years but it certainly seems to us that it is going in the wrong direction.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #13
06-05-2013 02:00 PM

Erekose, I am very sorry to hear that you've had such a bad time over the past 3 years in particular. However, I don't agree that the area was so good in the 1980's.

I've been in Forest Hill since 1971 and I grew up with some complete maniacs, some of whom caused the most horrendous aggravation in the town centre from the late 70's onwards and right through to the mid nineties. Running street battles outside the station with people getting stabbed, tables being ripped off their pedestals in the Wimpy Bar (next door to Sainsburys) and thrown through the large plate glass windows onto the South Circular Road. I was even sitting in my flat on Dartmouth Road one early evening (1990-ish) and there was the most almighty smash. I jumped out onto the flat roof and saw a guy walking up Derby Hill with a mattress that he'd just taken from the shop below after he'd thrown a whole paving slab through the window. Also, at least once a month on a Friday or Saturday night the police had to cordon-off the middle section of Dartmouth Road because of serious fights spilling out from the Malt Shovel (before Question Bar) and Spiggy's cocktail bar at No.73. I won't bore you all with any more.

Having said that, I do believe that there seems to be more 'cowardly' and 'sneaky' types of crime where the culprits pick easy prey and in a strange way I find this abolutely sickening and so much more abhorrent than some of the other things that I've witnessed in the area.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Tomcat


Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #14
06-05-2013 02:22 PM

Wow, Anotherjohn, what a rum place FH was ! Been here for 5 years - never seen a sniff of trouble. Happy to bring my family up here. Moved in from one of the nicer bits of Peckham. I know where I'd rather be.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #15
06-05-2013 02:49 PM

I'm so glad to hear it Tomcat. But don't get me onto Peckham. That's where I spent my formative years between 1962 and 1971 - well away from those nicer parts - down on the old Sumner Estate... Now there's a place I could tell you some scary stories about!

Find all posts by this user Reply
Erekose


Posts: 528
Joined: May 2010
Post: #16
06-05-2013 08:40 PM

Agreed Anotherjohn that there was a definite rise in anti social behaviour in the early 90's ( to tie in with the recession then?)but before that it was all good for us and afterwards it did seem to recover for some time.
We used to go drinking in FH and wander back somewhat the worse for wear without ever encountering any problems. Of course in those days there were no Internet Forums to report every incident on so maybe it was a case of us simply not knowing about things unless we actually saw them?
When I first came to London in the mid 70's I spent a lot of time in Tooting / Clapham / New Cross and the Wandsworth Road area where I went to college (PSB) and they really did seem rough - especially the run down bits of Clapham.
When we picked Forest Hill as somewhere to buy a house it seemed much more relaxed to us but I guess its all relative.

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 458
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #17
06-05-2013 10:16 PM

Bringing this discussion back to the here and now I must confess that as a lone woman walking up London road after dark I always feel uneasy even walking past the aforementioned alleyway as it is so shadowy. I firmly believe that better lighting and cctv would help considerably. Re; patrols between 8am and 8pm, I feel they'd be put to better use between 3pm (when the schools empty out) and 11.30ish (pub emptying out time).

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,198
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
07-05-2013 09:46 AM

I have never felt safe in this alley. The only times I use it alone are during the daytime and generally I have avoided it since I first started walking to school by myself at the age of 9 or 10. In the last 30 years nothing significant has been done to make it feel safer.

On Sunday while on the phone to the police I still had no intention of following suspects up that path, hoping instead that the police might take less than 15 minutes to respond to a 999 call relating to an assault (possibly multiple assaults) with an on-going situation and a train stopped at the station. If we lived in a remote part of Scotland then I might understand a 15 minute response time, but in suburban London they should be able to respond significantly faster on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

But back to the alley. What do people think we should be doing? Should the community be insisting that the council installs a series of CCTV cameras, or should we be raising funds locally for a CCTV system for this alley - perhaps with the help of Local Assembly Funding?
Should we leave the alley as generations before us have done?
Or should it just be closed off and make people walk the long way round?

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 458
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #19
07-05-2013 01:09 PM

Closing it off and making it inconvenient for those who do use it as a cut through is'nt an answer.
I believe we need funding (be it raised by the community or local government etc) to install CCTV-AND ensure said cctv is properly maintained in addition to improving lighting along it, and perhaps initialling those convex mirrors so that anyone lurking may be spotted.

Find all posts by this user Reply
robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
07-05-2013 01:28 PM

I and my family have been regularly using this alleyway for over thirty years, at all times of day and evening, and we have never encountered anything untoward. Lighting is however a problem - or has been. The last time I walked along it in the dark, I think that two of the street lamps towards the top end weren't working, leaving a long dark stretch, bordered on one side by shrubs and trees where miscreants could, in theory, easily be hiding. I know I should have reported this to the borough, but when on a previous occasion I tried to do this they wanted the code numbers of the defective lamps, which I didn't know and couldn't have seen in the dark anyway. (OK, I could have gone back in daylight to check ...)

Find all posts by this user Reply
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »

Friends of Blythe Hill Fields