There has been a very sharp increase in street population in Waterloo and this is causing alarm amongst local residents.
At 9.15 this morning between the Young Vic and the foot of Waterloo bridge I counted over 30.
I am lead to believe that earlier in the morning this figure was higher
There were 7 outside Tesco Waterloo Road , drinking , swearing , threatening one another and all ignoring social distancing..
After living in Waterloo for over 50 years I have never known things be so bad and I am not alone ion this opinion.
Something needs doing to resolve this bad situation as it is now completely out of hand
I had a bloke pointing to a scare on his head and saying "Helmand Province" and can he have a £, I walked away with death wished upon me in the form of an explosion! This was in the Cut.
In the 50 years I have been around here, it has been a lot worse numbers wise, Cardboard City etc. I just don't remember them bothering anyone, if anything, we harassed them!
Then there was the BI annual marauding Scots, we saved up our pocket money once to send one home (no joke), he was sat outside the station trying to beg his way home, for at least 2 weeks. I wonder if he ever got that kilt cleaned, yuck!
The government is busy dumping homeless people that were being put up in hotels back onto the streets. What do you expect to happen. That is not to say they were all put up in hotels in the first place. Anyone living in the area always knew that was fake news.
These latest street population bear no resemblance to those that were in Cardboard City, they were mainly well behaved.
Two weeks ago there was a knifing incident between 2 street of the street population and 2 days later KFC had to close early after a meter of staff was threatened by one of the street population. The member of staff was rescued by a member of our community and delivered into the safe hands of BTP in Waterloo Station.
This Saturday one was taken away by Ambulance and the same thing happened at 4pm today.
These are new faces for Waterloo and unfortunately are very aggressive , carry knives , take drugs and drink heavily
Things happened before, it was just out of the way. I agree though, there was not the aggressive begging that exists today. It's not nice for a lady to use a cash point and a bloke sitting there asking for money! These are young men, before they were always middle aged or elderly.
What to do? More Police. It's not beyond the wit of man is it? We know what time the soup kitchen operates, in Webber St, so for an hour a day a bigger police presence for a week or two.
If only it was for an hour a day.
It is becoming worse by the day and the aggressiveness is increasing as is the evidence of too much alcohol being consumed.
I don't know the actual amount of stabbings in the area in the past two weeks but believe it to be around six. Last week there was the vicious attack outside Sainsburys when the police cordoned off The Cut because it seemed as though the victim would die and they were gathering evidence in case that proved to be fact.
I am told that about 20 of the street people broke into St. John's church this morning and the police still had not attended the scene an hour later. If I am wrong I am sure I will be corrected.
We have a Safer Neighbourhood area, Southbank Association, Waterloo Action Group and the Metropolitan Police as well as the group promoting the area as a destination area to be visited. Surely they can all get together and come up with an action plan to disrupt and make Waterloo an unattractive place for such people.
I have lived here for over eighty years and it has never been this bad., even during the war with all the transients and military personnel especially around the old Union Jack Club it wasn't as bad as this.
Prostitution was bad, but assaults of the nature we are now seeing were so rare as to be almost non-existent.
I cannot remember beggars at all. Tramps used to show up occasionally and quite regularly as if Waterloo was an area on their tramping route and they were never a problem. Any that drank were known as 'methers' and were quickly moved on with their purple meths.
Here we are less than a mile from the centre of government and being ignored whilst those whose first duty is to protect the safety and well being of the public sit in comfort and security just over the bridge.
Surely shops and bars should be persuaded to not sell any alcohol to street people, if they cannot be persuaded then perhaps we need stricter enforcement of the law that is supposed to prevent the sale of alcohol to a drunken person.
I wish I knew the French for'The more things change the more they stay the same' but then I am only a member of the hoi-polloi.
I have to admit to being a beggar with the plea "Penny for the guy" but I never assaulted anybody.
This new group of 30 or 40 do not engage with street care , so they would not be engaging with Webber Street Mission. We believe that they have been shifted from Westminster.Not only are they very aggressive to members of the public but are aggressive to the regular Waterloo Homeless. All day today they have been moving from St Johns Church to other places and at this moment there are between 15-20 in Millennium Green