Violent activities at Mint Street Park

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Monday 8 August 2005 7.21pm
The antics at Mint Street park today have been the worst yet. This afternoon my partner saw two men - one of whom owns and drives a COLOURAMA van and is parked here right now - plus another local guy who hangs out with the drunks in the park and has a young child and a dog and who spends a LOT of time with them, go into the park with a pair of big knives. The Colourama van guy and another girl he hangs around with are bad news - I've seen him have to-do's with the drunks in the park on a regular basis.
Has anyone else seen any of this, as I plan to report this to the police on a constant basis until they bother doing something about it.
Tuesday 9 August 2005 10.19am
what is a Colourama van?
Tuesday 9 August 2005 10.30am
Colorama Photo Centre

Address: 44-58 Lancaster Street, London , SE1 0RP
Telephone: 020 7261 1082

They are the people who collect, process and deliver back films left for processing at your local chemist, supermarket etc. Lots of vans and cars racing round to meet schedules - makes driving up Lancaster St quite exciting at certain times of day

Maybe worth contacting the management if you have a particular individual to complain about?

Unless it is really spelt coloUrama in which case it's another firm completely...
Tuesday 9 August 2005 11.50am
do they use the knives? why dont you phone police...drug deals gone wrong perhaps?
McD
Tuesday 9 August 2005 9.28pm
If there is a young child, have you considered contacting social services? Perhaps they might encourage the police to act if a child is at risk of harm - knives, drink, fighting ...... Social Services are unlikely to do anything if they consider that they don't have enough info so if you had descriptions of the people & the child & the van reg - well it's another avenue to explore. There should be an out of hours number you can call.
Thursday 11 August 2005 12.16am
If anyone sees anything like this going on, I would urge you to speak to the police - Julian Thorne is the local beat officer - his number is 020 7378 1212. He is aware of the ongoing problem and hopefully if he keeps getting feedback, something can be done. The situation is really bad at the moment - I thought I'd try and be a bit more tolerant and went to the park on Tuesday. It was pretty bad with a hardcore gang of drinkers - including the woman with baby in pushchair who used to be in Flat Iron Square - shouting abuse. One guy who was totally out of it lurched at my daughter who thankfully is too young to know what's going on. What was more worrying was that in the corner where the flowerbeds are, there were three guys hiding in the trees injecting themselves which freaked me out because I didn't see them until I got really close. I will call Julian Thorne tomorrow but if anyone else could do so, this might help - particularly if you have witnessed any of these incidents.
Thursday 11 August 2005 7.19am
I agree, I know the police are very busy with terrorism these days, but you MUST push this, it sounds horrific. I've never been there, but I almost feel like doing so just to be available to give evidence. The poor child in a push chair...my GOD! How dreadful. I urge whoever is in the vicinity to put in their two bits.
Thursday 11 August 2005 10.57am
It sounds really rather nasty. I'm happy to do a story on the ongoing problem for the Southwark News if any of you want to get in contact. My number is 7231 5258 or email me at euan@southwarknews.org

Thursday 11 August 2005 12.43pm
It is difficult. A couple of years back there were some real problems in Archbishops Park with a rough sleeper called Dennis who was regularly abusive. I hoped my kids had managed to ignore him, but when we then ran into him in Battersea park it was clear that they recognised him and were terrified. He usually tried to show off some of his poetry. There were a couple of violent incidents, including a rape, involving other rough sleepers in the park, but though police were fairly sure who the perpetrator was, potential witnesses were not reliable enough for them to take action.

It was very difficult to resolve. However Lambeth Parks have doen some really good work around updating their by-laws. These have to be approved by the Home Office, with proper consulation etc, and enjoy legal status. This means that the Council then has more power to do something.

Part of the problem is that there are a small minority of people who are seriously anti-social. What tends to happen is that action is taken in one area and so they more on. For example problems in parks rose steeply when Lambeth and local police ran a joint initiative to close down crack houses on estates. Eventually a new set of people will start complaining so they then move on again.

In terms of effective action, you need the support of the Coucnil as well as the police. I would suggest asking the local councillor to set up a meeting with officers from parks and community safety. Ask what they plan to do about it, including where they stand in terms of barring people who consistently break by-laws from the park. More obvious presence from park rangers, community safety officers or police? CCTV? All with the aim of collecting enough evidence for a prosecution or an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

Things can be done, but Councils can be slow to respond unless pressure is applied. Unfortunately once things get bad, 'good' users will avoid the space and the problem grows.

The presence of a child is very worrying. I would also try NSPCC or Barnados to see if their child protection people are prepared to act.

.
Thursday 11 August 2005 4.40pm
looks like more grief today: paramedics seem to be tending to a man who has collapsed and police are on the scene too. big fight in the road last night -- lots of police and usual people screaming at each other all night.
I am going to write to simon hughes and local beat officer about it. I have lived here for years and am really shocked by the transformation of the park since the spring -- from a great public space to a centre of all kinds of antisocial activity. what does bankside open spaces trust think about it, because they maintain the garden with the council on mondays ?
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