Brockley Bites - 'Deeds not Words' Edition

Brockley Common Update

The Brockley Common project (improving the environment on the east side and opening up the common area between the railway line and Coulgate Street) is still happening, only a bit slower than had previously been anticipated. According to the Brockley Cross Action Group:

"Brockley Common is about to receive Planning Permission, but there have been complications with TfL money and what they are going to do as the new owners of the network from 2009. The next Brockley Common meeting is at the Broca, 7.30pm on February 13th and the station flowerbed and Brockley Common clean up is on Sunday, February 17th . It would be great to see some of Brockley Central's readers there. We really need more members as with all these new flowerbeds planned and done we are quite stretched."

Upper Brockley Road Shooting

As if further proof were needed that the Council and the Police need to take the anti-social behaviour problem at the corner of Upper Brockley Road and Lewisham Way seriously...

This is the South London Press' report on a non-fatal shooting that took place just after Christmas.

There is a feeling among some local residents that, until recently, the authorities had not been taking the problem as seriously as it deserved. However, in October, Lewisham Mayor Sir Steve Bullock said:
"I have now taken a personal interest in this issue and have asked the police to use enforcement as a means of tackling these problems once and for all."
In response to the shooting, Cllr Dean Walton said:

"I would like to remind the mayor of his pledge made to local residents last November and use all his powers to make sure that the Upper Brockley Road becomes a genuine safer neighbourhood."

Project Eyesore: Help Needed

We're planning the next Project Eyesore update. So far, only Barry has come up with the goods in terms of pictures of local eyesores. We need more. Please email your photos in.

Brockley Central Drinks II Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that Brockley Central Drinks II is tomorrow, at 8pm, Jam Circus. We have switched to using Roman numerals, to denote the occasion's epic status.

66 comments:

ElijahBailey said...

RE: Shooting

Damn. Yesterday I was feeling quite pleased that a shooting hadn't happened near me yet(yellow boards dicussion reminded me of when I lived in Peckham the road up from me had a fatal stabbing and a seperate shooting incident).

It hardly comes a surprise though that this happend Lewisham Way end. That road can be well dodge at times.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. Upper Brockley road is hideous up that end. Drugs dealers seem to be able to deal in broad daylight without the police seemingly doing anything.

ElijahBailey said...

Curry place is nice though.

Maradoll said...

"We really need more members as with all these new flowerbeds planned and done we are quite stretched."

I'm sure that there would be a few volunteers kicking around - any more information on who to contact or dates/times of the flower bed planting?

Brockley Nick said...

Mara, I suggest anyone interested emails me at Nick.barron@gmail.com and I can pass on the details to the BXAG, for them to get in touch. Or go along to the meeting on the 13th, to meet the team.

Maradoll said...

Oops - sorry - obviously skimmed that article a bit too quickly. Will do my best for the 13th.

Brockley Jon said...

As someone who actually lives down the 'hideous' end of the road, the recent incident is not something I'm particularly happy about, but it's certainly not a "street plagued with crime" as the article suggests. In fact, I have never directly witnessed any crime in over two years of commuting back and forth along Lewisham Way every morning and night.

UBR is a street of decent people, with a strong community feeling, spoilt by some isolated incidents centering around 1 or 2 shops that really only just encroach on our street (where the police should have taken stronger action many years ago).

Sh*t happens everywhere these days though, and you have to get on with it, otherwise you couldn't go anywhere in London.

And yes, Elijah, the curry house is good! ;)

Tom said...

While not wishing to pick a fight with our esteemed host, I also live down UBR and pass through that way every day and am not *quite* so insouciant.

I wonder if it were not drugs, what are all the people sitting in cars are doing at all hours, why the permanent group of young men standing around, and why the shooting?

I am not one to leap to conclusions, but this hardly smacks of the behaviour of a knitting circle does it?

Given that this is yards from a school, in a residential area, it's difficult to agree that it is wise to shrug the shoulders, say sh*t happens and ignore it.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the 'hideous end' comment and thats because I don't even like driving down that end of the road. I concur with Tom by witnessing these groups of young men clearly selling their gear in broad daylight. Who wants that on their street?
One residence down there appears to be some sort of 'crack house/drugs supermarket. I'd be surprised if this shooting was unconnected to that place. I'm sure everyone else on the street is lovely and I wasn't having a go at the other residents but pretending something is fine when it's not is not going to improve things. I'm sorry if that's the road you live on but if you want to pretend it's not a problem then then good luck to you...

ElijahBailey said...

I don't think ayone is pretending this is not a problem, just that not much can be done about it and as Jon said:

"Sh*t happens everywhere these days though, and you have to get on with it, otherwise you couldn't go anywhere in London."

Anonymous said...

Something can and should be done about it. People engaging in intimidating and illegal activity shouldn't be given free reign.

The police need to establish what is going on. (surveillance operation)
Identify the ringleaders. And then use the law to deal with them. (ASBOs)

Anonymous said...

Elijahbailey - I think you're wrong actually, shit like that doesn't happen on my street, and the attitude of 'shit happens' can only go so far - where do you draw the line and say enough is enough?

People use 'shit happens' as a way to ignore the issues. How many times could we say that phrase and do nothing?

Council trying to put up a sign on the pavement? - shit happens.

Homeview to be taken over by a bookies?- shit happens.

Brockley common is covered in litter again? - shit happens.

- starving children in Africa? - shit happens.

PJ

ElijahBailey said...

Righteo then, give the police a ring or write them a letter and I am sure the problem will be sorted out in no time.

ElijahBailey said...

Look mate I, like a lot of people, just want to got on with my life day to day. If I start listing all the things in my head that could happen to me in London I would never leave my house.

And your list is ridiculous and hysterical. The specific issue here is crime. This is London. There is crime. The best we can do is report stuff if it happens or if we see anything. Part from that we just have to get on with our lives. I for one can't be arsed to spend my days worrying about it.

Anonymous said...

Your attitude doesn't help. Part of the problem is that the people who this directly affects, i.e. the residents of UBR, either don't care enough to do anything about it or think they can't.

Do you think if this was happening in a rural village in devon the residents would put up with it? Why should it not be acceptable there but bearable here?
People accept it because it's they've got your attitude- as you say shit happens.
PJ

ElijahBailey said...

Ok what do you suggect then to combat this menance? Seriously tell me. I mean all this time people have just been putting up with crime, yet you appear to have some magic solution. Enlighten us.

Tom said...

I think an interesting thing would be to question our mayor as to what has been done since he took a "personal interest" in it back in November.

Particularly as the shooting took place in December.

That noise you hear is of an email being written!

Brockley Nick said...

Can we please see if we can continue this conversation without further resort to the "s" word? Perhaps I can suggest "stuff" or "poop" as alternatives? My edit function is a blunt object - I can only delete whole posts and I'd rather not have to. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for you to say that. There are ways to put a stop to this if people really want it enough but I suspect that too many people share your attitude. If I lived on UBR and had to contend with that I would set up an UBR residents group and then do what the residents did in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham - these people are an inspiration to anyone who feels that they are powerless to change their communities.

http://www.balsallheathforum.org.uk/

Tom said...

And yes I've just checked my facts and realised that the mayor's quote was in response to the shooting.

Blame it on the 6am bike ride!

Anonymous said...

Get a grip Nick - why do you have to delete the word sh1t? this is ridiculous...

Brockley Nick said...

I haven't deleted anything. I am asking nicely for people to be civil.

Tom said...

Many large companies use very blunt web-filtering programmes that block websites with bad language on it, so it is not a bad idea to stop swearing.

That said, the first use of the naughty s word was by Jon!

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, well we are not joined at the hip ;) I shall be having words...

Anonymous said...

I thought I was being civil....

Anonymous said...

That area by the war memorial has been the local 'frontline' for drug dealing for many years. Turf wars break out from time to time and it does not feel safe at night. Given that a politician has become involved, we may see some action. I can understand some people being surprised that this is happening. Sometimes you only hear about the dramas that go on in the neighbourhood by reading the South London Press or one if the other papers. Last summer was quite bad for street robberies in Brockley. It tends to go in phases and has to get bad before there is action.

It would be useful if we had some sort of information about what is happening on the streets. There is no way of warning the community to be on their guard.

Anonymous said...

http://www.balsallheathforum.org.uk/start.htm

have you read it yet Elijah??

Pj

ElijahBailey said...

Or maybe, just maybe, things aren't as bad as you are making out.

Groups like that work when their is tight community facing the same kind of common problems and they share the same common space. In London, due to density and the striking differences in social economic status that can be crammed into such a small space, the atomosphere that there is a problem can be diluted because there are so mean different perceptions at play due to people leading such different lives. And thus some people actually feel reletivly safe.

Rather than not caring as you seem to suggest, maybe they haven't got Daily Mail headlines running through their head when they walk out their front door.

There are far, far worse parts of London, and most of them you will find are further out than the traditional inner city.

Anonymous said...

How 'bad' something is, is relative. I'm just saying that if the residents want it enough there are ways of cleaning up your street...
PJ

ElijahBailey said...

Yes but it rather offensive and judgemental for you to suggest that something not being done is down to apathy when if fact they may feel that things are not too bad.

Anonymous said...

If you're offended by my comments then you must be incandescent with rage at the guys selling drugs...

ElijahBailey said...

Finding something potentially offensive and actually being offended are two different things.

Another two things which are different are a shooting incident and "450 prostitutes and 30 pimps [dominating] the street [corner]".

Anonymous said...

So your okay with it as long as its only one or two?
How many drug dealers would it take before you leap into action batman?

ElijahBailey said...

If I felt my area was PLAUGED BY CRIME then I might be propelled to do something. If everyone around me agreed that the area was PLAUGED BY CRIME then that would good and steps could be taken but if they didn't then maybe I would start asking myself wether this was the right area for me.

I am very sorry for not feeling overwhelmed by crime. I will try harder in future.

Anonymous said...

I could have a cheap shot here about 'trying harder' and spelling - i won't though, I'll leave it at that I think.

Tom said...

Elijah, I feel your last statement was plagued by misspelling!

It is an issue and people are doing something about it. I'll be interested to hear what the mayor has to say.

The most random 'crime' hotspot I saw was a prostitute trying to ply her wares on the corner of St Asaph Road and Aspinall Road. She looked very out of place, which I guess is a good thing.

ElijahBailey said...

Oh come on that kind of coy comment is pathetic mate.

If want to have a pop at me, have a pop at me, don't be all "I could, but I won't". It just makes you look like a muppet.

As for spelling, yeah it is something I have trouble with. So what?

Anonymous said...

are you sure she was a prossy? Not wishing to teach granny to suck eggs but there is a bus stop there.

Bea said...

My son attends the school mentioned here and I am very concerned that guns are being shot at people so close by.

Over the weekend when the weather is good, we often take a stroll round the Conservation area and as I particularly like UBR, Manor Avenue as well as the Mary Lloyd Villas (interesting original Victorian features) we wander that way. We have several times gone past the dodgy corner of UBR and felt intimidated by the drunks and drug dealers hanging out there – spot the blacked out, drug dealer statement, BMW parked on Manor Avenue anyone? However, I refuse to let drunks dictate where I should or shouldn't go. (But now that weapons have been used I'm not so sure I'll be that brave in future.)

Also, rather than people being apathetic as has been suggested here, or even taking the attitude that “c£&p happens” there is a group of residents who have demanded change – read Nick’s previous on this issue “Safer Neighbourhood advice at Upper Brockley Road”, “Lewisham Safer Neighbourhoods Survey” and another one which I can’t find now about a drinking ban for UBR over Christmas to reduce crime – obviously wasn’t very effective – no drinking but shooting instead!

Anonymous said...

It was a cheap shot I know, but I couldn't help myself.

The real response would be something like - you may not consider yourself plagued by crime - but for the people at the end of UBR it is (in my opinion) already at a level which is unacceptable, therefore if I lived there I would consider looking at it. Nuff said.
Kermit

ElijahBailey said...

Ooooooh, lucky you. Good school that. You must be pleased you got him in there.

Tom said...

There's no bus stop there so no worries about eggs and grandmothers. The corner I'm talking about is at the top of St Asaph's just before the bridge.

And, er, yeah, if she wasn't selling something then she had a lucricrously poor choice of clothing for someone planning to stand on a corner late at night for a couple of hours ...

Anonymous said...

I'm not asking this in a pervy way but is there a red light district in Brockley because if there is I've never seen any girls hanging around?

Anonymous said...

No there isn't.

Brockley Nick said...

Bea's right, this is something that the local community has worked very hard to address for a long time and they are finally succeeding in making the authorities take it seriously.

Regardless of shootings Bea, I am hoping to get my child in there too...

Bea said...

ElijahBailey: Nothing to do with luck – it’s our local primary school and, yes, I am happy he is going there. But I am not happy at the thought that someone was nearly shot 300m from the nursery gate!

Dan said...

@ Tom and anon 16.08 she may have been forced on to the street after the police recently raided and shut down a brothel on St Norbert Road. Residents had apparently complained about the endless men coming and going from a house at all hours.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether any police men/women read this blog?

If so could one please explain why we ordinary folk can spot all this illegal activity seemingly every day of the week on our streets yet they never seem to do anything about it?

The police seem to just hurtle through Brockley at a million miles an hour like some sort of cut through from Lewisham to Peckham/New Cross, sirens blaring waking us all up, but do they ever do anything to improve the streets of SE4?

JPM said...

I think it's extremely important that we don't go to war with ourselves on this issue.

Neither can we leave UBR residents to go it alone.

We are in it together, and sniping at someone's failure to spell correctly isn't helpful.

I picked my child up from school and walked past Rokeby House, a unit for drug rehabilitation note. I was utterly shocked to see a posse of men(?)in and around this unit dealing in and using drugs - and within yards of a children's primary school.

Is there no longer any shame with these guys? Have they sunk so low that they care not one jot about children?

The quite bizarre thing about the whole degraded tableau is that it was (presumably) being filmed by the unit's CCTV, and the two cameras positioned at the War Memorial.

Well the recent shooting may have brought more scrutiny than the police would have liked. Of course the borough commander must have known - for a very long time - what was going on there... prefering instead to micromanage his crime problem with the creation of this kind of drug no-go 'oasis'.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, how about a google map of the dark side of Brockley and I am not refering to the other side of railway tracks here.

The crack houses, the brothels, crime hotspots.

Brockley sometimes seems like a David Lynch film with guileless innocents abroad stumbling into the depraved underworld that exists just out of sight....until it darkness falls.

Brockley Nick said...

James Ellroy meets SE4. Brockley Central, hush hush on the QT.

chap said...

...or Taxi driver...

"I think someone should just take this city and just...just flush it down the fuckin' toilet." Travis Bickle

Think that lad had anger management issues.

Brockley Jon said...

A few points I'd like to raise here, at the risk of digging an even bigger hole for UBR. Oh well, we're almost in Calais so I might as well keep going.

By saying that I have never witnessed crime first hand on said corner of the Parade, of course I've seen dodgy geezers in blacked out Beemers, I've smelt weed, but I've never witnessed 'the dealing' with my own eyes. Sitting in cars looking sheepish is not a crime, unfortunately. In fact, this is the excuse the police give us for not taking more action when they attend our community meetings...

Yes, that's right anonymous, there is a community group - a very active one - that has been working with the police and the council for over a year now. As residents we take it extremely seriously, and we've taken the issue as far as possible. We eagerly await the actions of Sir Steve.

Oh, and sorry I said the 's' word, but I did at least put a star in it (take note, Nick ;)

For the record, I am not usually a 'poop happens' kind of guy. That's probably obvious by the fact that I helped Nick to setup this monster of a blog. It's just that London takes it out of you. I gave up loosing sleep about dodgy goings on a long time ago - but I will never stop taking an interest in Brockley.

In the words of the great Alan Partridge:

"Go to London! I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Catch the train to London, stopping at Rejection, Disappointment, Backstabbing Central and Shattered Dreams Parkway."

Pete said...

I'm looking forward to the drinks tonight.

Richard said...

I would have liked to have been at Jam Circus tonight to say some hellos, but my family have bought me a ticket to the England match.

So, apologies for my absence, I'm sure Kate and Antonio will look after you all.

And thank you for deciding to meet at our little pub, I hope you have a nice evening. I'll keep a sharp eye out for post-BC Drinks II comments!

bg said...

Seriously? I don't want to sound naiive, but I regularly come home from work late (train time,)/go out and get the night bus home along Lewisham Way/wander round in the daytime - and I never see any of this! Are people exagerating? I'm aware of the shooting, but otherwise, are these a couple of instances of individuals noticing dodgy people hanging round and dealing, or is this happening every day, with me somehow oblivious? I genuinely mean this sincerely rather than sarcastically.
(PS I'm sure there are spelling mistakes here - I can't spell...but can the discussion NOT revert back to that, please...)

max said...

You're from the countryside, aren't you?

bg said...

what - me???

Monkeyboy said...

bg...your spelling is exemplary.

Must admit I do wonder what what the issue is. Again the perception of crime outstrips the reality, and furthermore the victims of crime tend not to be middle class blog readers. It's the silly buggers who deal drugs and nick things that tend to shoot/stab other silly buggers. Sad but true.

Keeps your wits about you and you should be fine.

bg said...

Thanks, Monkeyboy...for your compliments on my spelling and your reassurance that there isn't some alternative Lewisham Way that I'm about to wander into from my false perceived security!

Monkeyboy said...

...although the chippy on Malpas road did short change me the other day. A mistake or part of a massive campaign of fraud against those too drunk to count their money?

you decide.....

Bea said...

Bg- I’d like to suggest “oblivious”.

If you’re just trying to get from A to B and concentrating on the pavement then you may well miss it as the anti social behaviour concentrates itself only on the Upper Brockley Road / Rokeby Road corner – not the length of Lewisham Way. They tend to hang around just within the roads and not on the pavement of Lewisham Way itself.

And to address Monkey Boy’s point of perceived crime – until the shooting I did not see it as a crime area only as an unpleasant corner to have to pass by with a load of drunk men leering at passersby. But surely a shooting is no longer just perception, regardless of whether someone was actually shot or not!

Londoners are so anaesthetized to crime (e.g. loads of Londoners I know have been burgled) they tend to think – even if it’s on their doorstep, “Oh well, that’s living in London” or for more serious crime such as stabbings “I hang out with a different crowd so it won’t happen to me”. Just think of the poor Polish nurse who was shot dead in New Cross before Christmas – that could have been anyone of us, as indeed if any of us had been sitting in the Honeypot cafe in the wrong seat on Christmas Day!

Obviously a lot of the shootings and stabbings in South / South East London are gang and youth related but that doesn’t mean that it is just perceived crime - it’s real and has a traumatic effect on those friends and families affected by it. And these crimes take place not far from us in places like Peckham (which is only the other side of Telegraph Hill!). Even crime that doesn’t make headlines has a negative impact on those affected by it. For example, in Lewisham "violence against the person" was 32.6 per 1000 persons vs. the national average of 16.7 and "burglary dwelling offences" were 10.1 vs. 4.3.

However much we like our part of London and think it has a lot to offer, Lewisham has higher than average crime statistics. I love Brockley and have felt the safest here of all the places I have lived in London but it would be silly of me not to be concerned about crime in the area and I sincerely hope that the police will eliminate the problems on the UBR corner.

Monkeyboy said...

No of course not bea. But its like swiming with sharks, the perception is that you WILL be a victim of big old bite. The reality is that it's unlikley.


I aggree that feeling unsafe, even if not always justified, is a problem in itself. I'm young(ish) If I was old or otherwise vunerable I may well be less happy.

Bea said...

“like swimming with sharks, the perception is that you WILL be a victim of big old bite. The reality is that it's unlikely” – well that is until you bleed of course, ‘cause then the buggers will be all over you :)

Monkeyboy said...

Apprently if you poke them in the eye they let go.

Also read somewhere that is a wild dog attacks you, poke it up the bum and it'll drop you. Not sure if it works with muggers but worth a try.

Tom said...

I got an email from the council saying that the end of UBR will become a drinking control zone (DCZ), and this is likely to be introduced in March.

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