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Muggings on Monday night....

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Tuesday 4 April 2006 6.14pm
I wholeheartedly agree that that fit male bystanders should intervene, and that the likelihood that they won't is a prime cause of the crime.
We need high visibility police foot patrols. Wandering around Southwark and E&C one is struck by the frequency of police car sirens and the absence of police on the streets. Contrast New Yotk City. But you're right, able-bodied citizens should be ashamed to abandon someone to the barbarians.
Tuesday 4 April 2006 11.00pm
I didn't think what Niall said was a parody. Insofar as wading in when there's something happening - I certainly wouldn't. I made an entry earlier in this Thread about being attacked in Potters Field Park (one of a run of attacks over a few weeks) a few years ago - it changed my attitude towards others irrevocably. As I said, we don't go out after dark without either getting straight into the car or being on a bike ... at the weekend there was a gang of 'kids' hanging around on Crosbie Row (at the back of Guys) c.21H - we cycled another way to avoid going near them.

I for one don't feel safe despite better lighting, cameras etc. The police are next to useless - we had a Domestic in the building last year and the four police wouldn't even get out of their vehicle.
Wednesday 5 April 2006 10.25am
Niall Connolly wrote:

But bad things can still happen and anyone living in the inner city with their guard down is asking for trouble.

Regards.

Niall

In case you didn't read the full thread, this situation occurred when guard was most definitely "up".
Wednesday 5 April 2006 11.10am
Malla

I didn't seek to suggest otherwise. I also regret that anyone suffers harm in such circumstances.

The point that I was trying to make was that this area (the area around Bermondsey St) is far safer than it was 10+ years ago. Street lighting is greatly improved. Establishments like the Garrison, The Woolpack, the Bermondsey Kitchen and Village East bring people down the streets late at night. They also bring some lighting to streelevel which removes more of those dark corners. The general level of activity has also made it possible to get a cab on Bermondsey St in the wee small hours, something unheard of even during the day, 15 years ago.

In comparison, back in 1991 a member of staff at Arpino Gibbs (now Zandra Rhodes' gaff) was grabbed in the Bermondsey St tunnel and dragged into a car. Thankfully she fought back and I believe stuck a stilettoe heel in someone's eye before making good her escape.

I remember the time when break-ins were a regular occurance for most local business premises. Someone went to the trouble of ram-raiding Kesperry Financial Services (now the Village Deli).

In comparison, Bermondsey St & Environs are safer and less risky (other than as a property investment) than I have known them in 20+ years. One person's bad experience cannot therefore be taken as the norm and shouldn't be a reason for any sense of 'living in fear'.

But that bad experience should be a wake up call for the local community to consider taking more responsibility. Scumbags get away with it much of the time because people won't step up. The scumbags know it and exploit it. In fact, in my experience, they are shocked and outraged when anyone does make any sort of a stand. (When I confronted one such whilst breaking into a car on Tanner St he asked me, "what has it got to do with you?") And able-bodied males aren't the only people who can make a difference. Just the fact that people are willing to bear witness would be a bulwark against anti-social behaviour. Sadly, much of the time, even that is too much to expect.

Regards and best wishes to you and yours.

Niall
Wednesday 5 April 2006 1.15pm
I was mugged in July 2004, on bermondsey St., 1.20am, by a black youth on a bike with a hood up. My brother has just been mugged, on Weston St., by a black youth with some kind of truncheon. Happened about 10.30pm on Monday last.

Two policemen came to my flat in leathermarket Court, one in uniform, t'other in plain clothes. The uniformed one, a large man with a booming voice, had an intimidating manner and, apparently, a very short temper. They wanted to take my bro in their car for a drive round the area, criminal spotting. He had to get up early the next morning, and I said it was not going to produce results. When I was mugged I did exactly that - utterly futile, time-wasting exercise.

The copper's hackles were quickly raised when i said it would be much more constructive to have police more visibly in the area to *prevent* these endless crimes taking place - rather than bringing up the cavalry and, frankly, just adding to the victim's problems by taking up more of their time and energy with a bunch of pointless questions. eg, in this case it was a(nother) black youth - surprise, surprise! There's no more description one can give. It happens quickly and there's nothing more one can recall.

The irate officer boomed sarcastically, "well, sir, you obviously know how to do my job better than me so I'll leave you to it", or something of that nature, and promptly left.

I have lived here for over nine years and until I was mugged I had a sense of this place being much dodgier to look at than in reality it was. But i certainly don't feel like that now.

IT IS AN UTTER DISGRACE THAT THE POLICE DON'T SIMPLY GET OUT OF THEIR CARS AND OFFICES AND PUT EVEN ONE OFFICER ON THE BEAT, WHEN IT IS SO PATENTLY OBVIOUS THAT THIS AREA HAS A MAJOR PROBLEM. As summer approaches, it will inevitably get much worse.

(I work from home and often see youths in Leathermarket Street park during the day. Is that drugs they're smoking? Why aren't they at school? Why does no representative of authority EVER take a look and find out for themselves?????).

Of course, as someone said at the start of this thread, the real culprit is the government and bullsh*t liberal, criminal-as-victim attitudes that have prevailed for so long now. It all reminds me of when i lived in New York City in 1988-9, when every middle class New Yorker swapped mugging stories and carried "mugging money" in their shoes. Luckily for them they eventually got a zero tolerance police chief and mayor.

We lucky folk have ... Ken Livingstone, who prefers to spend his time hugging homophobic, wife-beating, suicide bombing endorsing sheikhs! And not forgetting would-be politician Iain Blair, whose incompetence is writ large in the grotesque murder of that poor Brazilian guy by the bungling Met.

Everyone keeps waxing lyrical about this area. Well, that just won't wash anymore. The snake in our garden of paradise simply can't be ignored. I'm not holding my breath for any improvement, and may even move out of the area.
Wednesday 5 April 2006 2.24pm
If there's a god, Ken Livingstone will be incapacitated by a mugger and Giuliani will be elected Mayor of Lond - on. Where is Lond - on, anyway?
Wednesday 5 April 2006 2.33pm
wot we want is THE SCHOOLBOARD MAN...who visited parents when pupils were absent with no parents letters, and I lived in fear of when I hopped the wag! is there a modern day equivalent?
Tuesday 11 April 2006 5.49pm
Malla,

I am horrifed to hear what your girlfriend and you have been through. It is hugely unfortunate that you fell into these circumstances despite your vigilance.

I have lived in the area for 12 years and have been lucky on the whole. It is dissapointing to read the minority insensitive and quite frankly down right obvious points of view on the forum. We all appreciate how much this area has developed over the years; enjoying improvements that accompany regeneration of the area doesn't negate the fact that these problems still exist, even though they maybe of a lesser extent and frequency. Furthermore, crime culture has changed. Although it is admirable to step up and confront these perpetrators, it may also be foolish. Yes they may be kids, but it is like playing russian roulette attempting to confront them when you have no idea what weapons they may be carrying; these days your valuables may not be ALL that you will lose. Moreover, confrontation may serve to save one particular event, be it a mugging or otherwise, but in the long term these criminals are regulars and will only wise up to return and 'hit' harder the next time.

Avoidance manifests itself as part of the new 'street wise' individual. It is not cowardly but just plain sensible to avoid using blind courage. This is by no means a blanket rule for all. Confrontation does have a place but it takes skill, courage and quick analysis to safely judge such a situation expediently....and all this is even without considering emotions as a congruent variable.

Bottom line is that we love the area we live in and we want to make it a safer place. Prosecution of these criminals will satisfy justice but we desperately need to tackle the problem at the roots. Lighting has improved but we need to persistently complain about deficits of these and other services in the area. There have certainly been more community officers patrolling over the last year but we clearly need more. These deterents are the only way forward. I appreciate that due to resources this in itself can never be absolute and we thus we are left with luck and continuing to be street wise.

Kind regards
Jammy
Tuesday 11 April 2006 9.26pm
On the subject of Community Support Officers - what powers do they have? As VicD has said, the police are confrontational and aggressive when dealing with members of the public (must be a result of all that time racing around in their high powered vehicles) - I have been on the receiving end of numerous sarcastic comments from the police (as mentioned earlier on this Thread). The 'criminals' know that the police do nothing unless it brings them glory or kick-backs, Comunity Support Officers wander around aimleslessly (or so it appears), I have yet to see one doing anything aside from giving directions to tourists.

Meanwhile Ken is scanning Tiannamen Square and using Tony Blair's saw, "It's time to move on".
Tuesday 11 April 2006 10.27pm
Whilst all is not 100% well with the Met and I agree that sarcasm sometimes can be a hazard of communicating with the Police, I would like to stick up for our community officers round here, who I regularly see walking round and whom I can and have contacted and who have responded helpfully.
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