Be very afraid! Have a nice day.

We know that this subject has already been much discussed elsewhere on the blog, but it certainly deserves its own thread:

The massive yellow street signs warning Brockley residents of their imminent coshing by people after their consumer electronics. What are they supposed to achieve and who thought they were a good idea?!

We know from the comments posted on this site that street crime is an issue in Brockley, as it is pretty much everywhere in every major UK city. We know that if it happens to you, it’s horrible. We’d be surprised if residents weren’t already aware of these facts but also prefer not to dwell on them, every time they set foot outside the front door.

And honestly, the streets of Brockley are really not that mean. We sometimes go out of our way to walk routes that some people worry about, at night. But they’re invariably quiet and often beautiful.

So, accepting that crime is an issue but this is not Baghdad, what we are supposed to do as a result of the signs’ warnings?

Are they suggesting we shouldn’t use our mobile phones while out and about? That’s a concession to criminals we’re not personally prepared to make. Our (i)’pods’ that ‘they want’? We’ve never seen anyone flaunt their ipods outside their clothing – should we not buy them in the first place? Or should we not go out at all. None of that is clear. All the signs achieve is to put the willies up people in their own neighbourhood and add yet more clutter to the streetscape.

As for who’s responsible – that’s been hard to get to the bottom of too.

Our Councillors don’t know where they came from and the police community liaison people haven’t responded to our enquiries (in fact, the only time we’ve ever heard from them was when we got a cease and desist email, telling us to take the advert for the Brockley Christmas Market off the site because it featured the Safer Neighbourhoods logo and it could imply that Brockley Central was somehow endorsed by the police). But Brockley is not alone apparently, friends who we’ve spoken to report that they’ve seen them elsewhere in London.

They were introduced without warning and without any consultation with anyone we’ve ever heard from.

They are stupid and destructive and they should go.

148 comments:

Kate said...

Well said!!! The ones on Wickham Road greatly irritate me. Scaremongering nonsense. They do no good and probably increase vulnerable people's fear of crime extremely unnecessarily.
Also, as some right-thinking citizens seem to have taken it upon themselves to try and pull the signs down, they are now merely an eyesore: a big bit of yellow plastic attached to a lamppost, with the front signage pulled off and littering the ground.

Headhunter said...

Exactly! A lot of them along Manor Avenue have been knocked or torn down and as Kate says are now just flapping bits of eyesore yellow plastic and bag ties. I wonder how much money was wasted? Could we not have had that money to pay for another tree/trees?

If whoever put them there really thought they were necessary why were they not made more permanent, out of metal for example. I'd hate to be trying sell my home right now! Not exactly a great way to attract buyers to Brockley! I'd be tempted to rip them all down if I were.

As Nick says, there was no consultation, and as far as I'm concerned there should be no consultation when residents tear them down.

Lets just have some proper policing if the area is under such threat. Perhaps keep the local police station open?

Anonymous said...

Here here! I would love to know who on earth thought this was a smart idea. Why dont the Councillors know who did it? BUT...I raised this on another section of the blog and was told by Fabhat that s/he thought they were good as they remind people to be vigilant so it ill be interesting to see what the overal majority thinks. I pulled the one outside my house down - scissors do the trick and dont leave them flapping in the beeze

brockley mutha said...

agree wholeheartedly. they have an even worse effect on children who can read, but can't rationalise.

they have the look of a 'year-end' initiative - a council dept desperately trying to spend the last of its 07 budget.

Heaqdhunter said...

You're probably right about the year end budget thing. If Brockley really is suffering a rash of ipod and sat nav crimes, then perhaps it's worth making people aware, but how about something more subtle, with less sensationalist language, just so people are aware. These signs seem very "Daily Mail"

Brockley Nick said...

Also, if we must have signs, how about using them to say what the police are actually doing about the problem? Something that might act as a (minor) deterrent to criminals and a (minor) reassurance to people that something is being done to make life a bit safer.

At the moment, they read like we're on our own, at the mercy of thieves, who lurk at every corner.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Unfortunately now days, with the level of diversity with people speaking differing languages and having differing cultural ways of doing things, this type of 'IM HERE LOOK AT ME' sign will increase.

THE DEFENCE: There is a need to protect those who would not identify to speaking directly with the police or other such initiatives.

THE ALIENATION: I dont like the signs, I feel it alienates alot of people who could quite easily speak english and sit down with the local policeman to discuss concerns.

THE CONCLUSION: As has been pointed out in previous replies to me, this isn't the UK we live in..... without asking some serious questions about the value of preserving a national identity (such as everyone being able to speak english) there really isnt much we can do....

Discuss.

Andrew Brown said...

It does seem a bit of a strange tactic, particularly in the light of the crime stats which suggest that robberies are sharply down across the borough...

lb said...

Well, whether you like them or not, they've clearly been noticed, which I suspect was the intention.

Nearly all the muggings that I've been aware of - quite a few of my friends have had this happen to them - have been the result of people being on the phone or fiddling with an mp3 player leaving a train or bus. They get seen and followed, and that's that. It does makes sense to hide your valuables away, and people need to be informed about this. What other ways could then have done this? A leafleting campaign would probably have scared people more, and metal signs, well, make the problem seem permanent, which would probably deter even more people from moving here. A plastic sign makes it looks like it's a passing phase.

More police would be ideal, but I suspect a policeman costs rather more than plastic signs.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. They should go.

brockley mutha said...

@lb - why would a leafleting campaign have scared people more?

lb said...

If you get something through your door, it appears more personal for one thing. It makes it look like the problem is potentially affecting every house on every street (which, to be fair, it is; but I expect they don't want people to go mad with fear, just to be aware).

Or perhaps this idea was mooted and the signs were cheaper, there is always that.

Anonymous said...

agree wholeheartedly that the signs are stupid and ugly, and should go. however, i think it is a fair point to say that the police *aren't* actually patrolling every street every minute of the day; people *do* need to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings, *and* for others and their belongings. The police aren't there to watch us every minute just to make sure we're ok. society has to function better than that: it will so long as we take resonable care for ourselves and each other. [Someone tried to take my bag a few weeks back; I wasn't angry that there was no 'bobby on the beat' at hand, right at that moment; i was furious that an oblivious fellow-commuter took no notice of my very loud yelling, and continued walking home].

Headhunter said...

I still think the signs are sensationalist and negative. As Nick points out, if we have to have them, why not something which point out to criminals that police are targetting them, rather than a sign which essentially says watch out or they'll get you and there's nothing we can/will do to help...

Anonymous said...

I reckon some of those East Dulwich residents put them up - getting worried about competition from Brockley!

Brockley Nick said...

@lb - so just to be clear then. Are you saying that people should not use their mobile phone or listen to music while walking around their neighbourhood? If you're not saying that, then what should someone do in response to seeing those signs?

"Be more careful" is not useful or necessary advice. Another way of putting it is "don't enjoy yourselves while in public - be afraid of life all the time". Is that how we want to live our lives.

They're a bit like those universally-derided AIDS-iceberg ads from the 80s, which just said - 'this thing's going to kill you!' but don't tell you how you can usefully do anything to protect yourselves.

Anonymous said...

ap&p....what do plastic signs saying hang on to your ipod have to do with imigration 'national identity' and the ability to be able to speak english?

Stupid signs, go away.

lb said...

[BN] I used to live in a part of London which, on balance, probably had far more problems with this kind of thing than Brockley, and it also had signs; these however made clear that you should avoid flashing your mobile around at the station, particularly, as the common pattern for these type of crimes is for someone to get followed from a station or bus-stop after revealing they've got something worth nicking. This seems sensible advice if you want to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime. Perhaps the signs would have been better if they'd specified this.

I do partly agree with you, but it's probably worthwhile warning people, at least.

lb said...

[BN] I used to live in a part of London which, on balance, probably had far more problems with this kind of thing than Brockley, and it also had signs; these however made clear that you should avoid flashing your mobile around at the station, particularly, as the common pattern for these type of crimes is for someone to get followed from a station or bus-stop after revealing they've got something worth nicking. This seems sensible advice if you want to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime. Perhaps the signs would have been better if they'd specified this.

I do partly agree with you, but it's probably worthwhile warning people, at least.

brockley mutha said...

@ anon 12.08

ap&p just wants a argument to brighten up his day - sometimes (in fact most times) you just have to ignore him.

Kate said...

I also question the placing of these signs. It would make more sense if they were in high-traffic areas such as Brockley Rd and around the station, but the ones I've seen are on Wickham Rd. Is there a big problem with muggings on Wickham Rd? It makes me feel a bit scared to walk along there in the evenings now, yet I've never had any problems or been concerned before.

lb said...

I've only seen them around the station. Perhaps they've since been torn down by scissors-wielding residents worrying their houses are being devalued.

Monkeyboy said...

I understand that pennyless Brockleyites from the conservation area borders have taken to mugging people for their posh bread and oils.

lb said...

Using assault and ciabattery?

fabhat said...

anon @11.11. yes I did write that i thought that they were a good idea...As i said, someone attempted to snatch my phone (I distinguish that from a mugging, which I think implies threatening violence) after watching me leave my house and checking my phone. I then kept an eye on the person I saw watching me, until I was satisfied they'd disappeared off on their bike. When I got a call two minutes later I completely forgot about them, and was happily and obliviously on my mobile when the snatcher cycled up behind me and attempted to grab the phone. Only his ineptness, my slightly hightened sense of awareness from spotting him earlier and my vulcan death grip thwarted him, but I was pretty shaken up afterwards.

However I think he came back because he had seen I had a good phone, due to me fiddling with it out on the street. It's possible that had I seen signs on the street i would have waited to get to brockley station to make/answer my call - nothing's that urgent! After all it happened on a peaceful road and in the middle of a bright sunny day - the kind of situation one wouldn't think twice about using one's phone in. I do use my phone still, but am much more careful, and only use it on the street when wearing headphones, so the phone itself is not easily grabbable.

When someone is on the phone it is obvious from far away and they are (generally) completely unaware of their surroundings - making them a snatchers dream.

I don't like the signs any more than anyone else - but I can see the reasoning behind them. from what the police said to me when I reported it, it's a increasing crime here - whatever else the crime statistics say. Most people probably don't bother to report it - I only did because I didn't want to let it happen to someone else if I could help it. I think leafletting might have been a better idea - less overt, but then it's on the street that you need reminding. I hope it will put the snatchers off too - as they don't want to go for people on their guard who might fight back do they?

Perhaps only me and Lb think there's any positives to this...

jon s said...

They are a daft idea that don't work!!!

Brockley Mutha - love the phrase "can read, but can't rationalise" - It has cadence and a floating opposite, I'm sure it will get stolen by a speech writer somewhere.

Tressillian James said...

I had a friend over from Japan this past weekend. She saw the signs in Wickham and also in Friendly street and other streets in St Johns. The signs say that these crimes are happening in the streets - so naturally should took them at their word and asked me about the high rate of crime - as it looked like (from the signs)most streets have had past history of IPOD and phone crime.

The signs are overkill and street clutter. It may be contentious, to a few, but do you really need a sign to tell you to be careful with your phone? Isn't this a bit like telling people to look twice when they cross the road. We know the risks around phones and IPODs.

If there is a crime wave then let us know - but lets see the statistics.

Clare said...

scared they'll push down the property prices by frightening away the city boys looking for a pad in Brockley near to Spearmint Rhino? ;-)

Tom said...

There is certainly a trend in this country to put up signs that point out the bleedin' obvious.

It must contribute towards in council's targets I would guess, though many do little.

My favourite is this: wonderful example of signage lunacy.

Anonymous said...

I agree that they blot the pretty streets of Brockley.

BUT. It is important to remember that people do get mugged and it is a horrible experience that can easily lead to more serious injury. I think the signs are to encourage people to not advertise their flash electronic gadgets. Keep them hidden. By all means use them, but be aware of what is going on around you when you do.

Sadly, most attacks on women occur at night when they are on their mobile phones...because they feel safer talking to someone and are not aware of what is going on around them.

The signs are merely an encouragment to be aware of your surroundings and to prevent you from giving muggers a reason to attack you. Basic stuff but people don't abide by it and are then surprised when they are mugged.

It is a shame we have the signs but if it prevents one mugging then I think it is worth it.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - without wishing to get too Commentisfree about all this - isn't that kind of argument the justification for a fascist state?

If censorship, curfews and police with guns patrolling the streets at all times can prevent even one mugging, it will all have been worth it...

Anonymous said...

"fabhat" you should have used your fancy phone to snap a photo of the idiot and post it on this website so we could all pelt him/her with chicken bones the next time we see them...;)

On a serious note though, i just saw these yellow signs on Soho Square while at lunch - now that i can understand, but Wickham road in Brockley?...how silly.

Also does it not pose a planning question. Why do i need planning permission to erect a satellite dish at the back of my house in the conservation area yet the Police (or whoever) can stick up these bright yellow daft looking eyesores with no problem?! They are as bad as litter as far as i can see.

Anonymous said...

@Brockley Nick.

It is a rational argument to determine the measures neccessary to maintain peace and order.

I think we'd all say that curfews etc are too extreme a measure in this instance. But are some signs such an offence that they aren't worth it to save at least one mugging? I suggest you speak to a victim of a mugging and ask them whether they are happy to have gone through such a traumatic and unpeasant experience because residents objected to some annoying yellow signs!

Sure they are a blot on our loveley streets. But are they that big a deal?

fabhat said...

why is it silly having them on wickham rd - if that is where this is happening...which it is. I live, and was attacked on wickham rd. just because it's a nice pretty street it doesn't mean it's crime free - in fact it's that (slightly)false sense of security that these signs are trying to address.
as i said - i don't think they're pretty, but I do think they're useful...

Brockley Nick said...

Sure, I agree it's about balance, but I don't think they have got the balance right. I think they are counter-productive and, as others have said, state the bleeding obvious. They are detrimental to everyone's quality of life and think there's also a chance that they could encourage crime by sending the message to criminals that these are lawless zones.

I'd still like to hear what people think people should be doing differently. Are you really saying people "flaunt" their ipods. I've never seen anyone do that. If people are vulnerable as they get off the train - perhaps they could have one sign at the station exit.

That would seem the right balance to me.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Firstly,

I do not think there is a direct link between the IPOD signs and immigration (maybe a indirect link - any social scientists who want to do a regression model, I would be intrigued to find out the results!).

The point that I was making is that in our modern society 'visual displays' such as the signs are increasingly important.

People have language barriers, I do not understand french. But a picture of a mobile phone in bright colours would get my attention.

and.. by the stands of it, it has got a lot of peoples attention - exactly what it is designed for.

The second point that I've noticed, is that i think there is a degree of 'elitism' as in - gosh this surely shouldn't happen in our nieghbourhood' - this is the NIMBY brigade.

Its based around a somewhat middle class complaint and smacks of ignorance - i.e. its actually the middle classes who have a higher proportion of these luxuary items (and note i say the word proportion). I think people are against the signs as they assume you do not put in place your own precautions - i.e. not making it obvious what you are carrying etc.. Again, this smacks of ignorant for two reasons:

1. It assumes the 'new' middle class do not consist of people who come from different cultures and 2) that they would not fail to spot what precautions you are assumed to make.

My views about the lack of a national identity is well known. I also consider myself to not be poor. I completely defend the concept of the signs and the need to educate everyone from all cultures to the risks on the streets.

The only condition is that the signs are located in areas where 'objective' and 'independent' research has been carried out to assess the most beneficial location. If this has been done, then they should stay where they are.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

And before people critise me for my comments, yes - i would be happy to have them west side if thats what research would imply be the most beneficial site.

The question everyone should really be asking is - WHAT research if ANY was carried out? Hopefully Nick will find out something..

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but that is a very silly reductive argument that can justify any action by authority on the basis of the greater good. I need some proof that this particular cure is not worse than the problem. Otherwise I become suspicious that this is merely a budget absorbing scheme that has more to do with administative convenience than crime prevention.
I would like an explanation from whoever put up these signs what the reasoning was, how the community was consulted, how much it cost and what other alternatives were considered. Show me the evidence.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I agree with Anon, this is exactly what we - the community - should be insisting on. If not to route on improper spending but to educate us all abit more the pressures faced by government.

This is how we build trust between the government and community.

Anonymous said...

in response to BrockleyNick (sorry APPP, i tried, but didn't quite make it through your rant): I would have preferred that our Safer Neighbourhoods Team or similar group had:

-- used existing community fora to highlight the problem, discuss what might be causing it (either in terms of the 'offenders' or the 'victims' behaviour) and possible solutions, including 'quick wins' such as signage. Community fora could include this blog, the recent BXAG AGM meeting, the various councillor's blogs, church groups, etc. Based on feedback from the community, they could then

-- Plan a Safety Awareness event targetted at commuters (if, as implied, its their Ipods our locals are after) to remind people to look after their stuff, and what to do if they see / are a victim of street crime; and to remind criminals that yes, we know you're around and we're paying attention. For instance, they could do something at the train stations, around morning and evening commute time, for a few days.

The emphasis being on community awareness, not police presense. The signs, as many have pointed out, are clearly temporary. If they were permanent, we'd soon stop seeing them and go back to our old ways. I think an occasional safety-awareness drive isn't a bad idea -- but those signs are awful.

JPM said...

I was actually planning on writing an article on this.

It took nearly a month to get to the bottom of this, as no one seemed to want to admit to it. However, finally... this came via Lewisham's Press Office:

"A spokesperson, for the Safer Lewisham Partnership, said: "We are aware that the use of high visibility advice boards can alarm some people. We therefore only use them for a limited time period in areas where there has been a specific police request for them. The signs in Brockley will be taken down in the next couple of weeks as planned.”

“The latest crime figures show the targeted action has cut crime. Robberies are down 48% and car crime is down 18% compared with the same period last year. We will continued to target theft and vandalism to cars throughout the borough.”

“We are also currently working on a multi-million pound street lighting project which will also help make our streets safer.

The action on vehicle crime includes:

Targeted police visibility in specific areas
Increased warden visibility
Prevention leaflets
Prevention advice through the Safer Lewisham Partnership bus
Distributing free bolts for number plates

In relation to the specific queries:

Does the council arbitrarily place these signs.
see above

Or is it provided with a list of crime spots. (You may have already answered this.) The pattern of crime is kept under daily review and the police and Council resources are deployed in response. Patterns of crime can change often depending on a number of factors. It would be wrong to think of Brockley as a crime hotspot.

Does the council not accept that these signs can be also viewed as (I) alarming, or, (ii) patronising.
see above

Will the Council reduce rates in the roads were these signs appear.
No we can't do this and do not believe there will be any long-term impact on properties in this area.

Who issued the instruction within the Council to allow the signs, was it the mayor, or councillors.
The decision was made by the partnership action group of police officers and Council staff to help to reduce crime.

Is the Council going to improve lighting in these roads.
See above

How long will the signs remain.
See above

How much did they cost.
The police paid for the signs some time ago.

Is the council suggesting that the police have not got a grip on crime.

No, crime is falling and this is a result of good policing, excellent crime prevention and enforcement.

Why did it choose this particular date for the campaign.

The decision was based on an analysis of data which showed there was a need to raise crime prevention awareness locally at that time."

[I hope the above helps, and will incite the voter at the next election.]

Headhunter said...

Personally I think it would make more sense to have some kind of warning in or by the station, but even then, as has been said, it states the obvious.

People on the streets in any part of London need to be aware of what's going on around them rather than whipping out expensive i-pods and phones. People can be particularly clueless - the problem isn't restricted to Brockley. As mentioned previously, I've been out running in various parts of London and have found myself running up behind someone with an i-pod, who leaps/screams/takes up defensive or attack stance as I run past. If I had really been intent on taking the i-pod in many of these situation I could have had the person on the ground and ripped their i-pod out of their hands before they'd seen me!

It's pretty much common sense, keep the volume down and just be aware of who's around you. No need for Brockley to be plastered with bright yellow signs that state the obvious.

If the police/authorities/whoever are concerned, then signs at ALL London station/Tubes might be useful.

lb said...

Nick, if the signs encourage people to keep their phones concealed, thereby making them less of an obvious target, then I don't see how they can be called counter-productive being as the intention behind them was to do just that. I appreciate that you may have concerns that people are being told to live in fear, but pretty much everyone I know who's been mugged for their phone, or wallet, has ended up being petrified of going out anyway.

I don't think they do state the obvious, judging by the behaviour of people I've seen. Yes, they do "flaunt" their valuables, if having them openly on display, and easy to snatch, counts as flaunting. I only really noticed this because I've been given advice by the police not to do this, in the wake of people I know being the victims of crime.

I don't especially like the look of the signs, but I don't think they substantially change my quality of life, or make me afraid to walk around. Neither do I think they'd encourage crime, though I'd rather they also stated that there was some kind of anti-street crime intitiative going on in the area (if that is what's going on; the signs of this type in my former area usually stated this).

It might be interesting to see if the signs which are some distance to the station are near bus stops - there might be some logic to this.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 14.44 - i think we are pretty much entirely in agreement.

By the way, this thread is a good example of why more people should identify themselves with a name - choosing the anon option is OK, but please sign yourself off with a name, otherwise it's utterly confusing.

lb said...

"People on the streets in any part of London need to be aware of what's going on around them rather than whipping out expensive i-pods and phones. People can be particularly clueless - the problem isn't restricted to Brockley"

Headhunter, if you're claiming that people need to be made more aware of this, then you can't really claim that the signs are "stating the obvious", can you?

Anonymous said...

The other culture that needs to be made streetwise are the young students who move into the area each year and are unaware that their electronic accessories will draw the attention of the dodgy yoof keen on redistributing such wealth in their direction.

Far better to go to the colleges and give a few talks on crime prevention.

A concerted effort to tackle the outbreaks of street crime when they arise would also be helpful. Cops on bikes. A website to report minor incidents so the police know where trouble is happening.

It ain't rocket science.

It is east to get the impession that these signs are a substitute for more effective action. They suggest that we are being shortchanged and they exaggerate peoples fears.

lb said...

Anonymous @15:43:

Online crime reporting? Already done. See http://www.met.police.uk/reporting_crime/#online

Police on bikes? Well, we've got those too. They were mentioned on a thread a while back.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of a side issue, but some of them show two obviously black kids, with the message "They want your pod". Now, on closer inspection, it's obvious that these kids are meant to be the victims, but on first glance, it seems like they're warning people against black street robbers. Not a very smart design.

lb said...

The police also give talks in education establishments, by the way. They do all this type of stuff now.

"It is easy to get the impession that these signs are a substitute for more effective action"

Well, it is easy if you don't actually do some research before giving your opinions, yes.

fabhat said...

anon:

you cannot report attempted or actual theft on the website - I tried. In fact you cannot even go to the police station and report it to the civilian staff there - it has to be reported to a police officer.

There is also a plainclothes quick response team in Brockley - if you call them they take about 5 mins to get to you - in my experience...

I'm glad the signs will be coming down in a few weeks - but no-one reading this thread can now not be aware that they need to be "aware" around their expensive portable goods - and if this website is a microcosm of Brockley in general hopefully the snatchers will run out of victims pretty swiftly. surely that is a good thing?

DREDD said...

Those signs are a disgrace- they.ve got it the wrong way round. Should read: MUGGERS BEWARE. MIMIMUM 1 YEAR JAIL FOR FIST OFFENCE. UNDERCOVER POLICE OPERATE IN THIS AREA.

lb said...

"Fist offence"?. Guffaw

Headhunter said...

Yes, LB, people need to be more aware of what's going on around them, but this is hardly specific to Brockley or the residential streets of the conservation area so why the need for sensationalist yellow signs on generally quiet streets? In fact I'm sure most Londoners are pretty aware that thieves target people with ipods and fancy phones so something more targetted would suit better, somethnig aimed at people newly arrived in London who may be less aware.

If the Met thinks there is a problem then as anon 14.53 says, the problem needs tackling at source - at stations, at colleges where students new to Londonwith ipods and computers are, at Tube stations, perhaps leaflets to households if necessary or at workplaces.

These signs are purely a quick stop gap, reflex and frankly alarmist response which has done nothing but annoy and alienate local residents.

lb said...

[HH] Why is it not 'alarmist' to have a sign by the station, or to leaflet people, when it is 'alarmist' to have one in Wickham Road? Sorry, I don't quite see your logic.

The signs are in the places they are because that's where the police asked for them (see the official response quoted above). Presumably the police have a record of where and when people got their phones, wallets, etc. taken. Incidentally, one person here has already talked about being a victim of crime in Wickahm Road. I've heard of others.

They may have 'annoyed' local residents (or about four people on this site, anyway) but their function was to raise awareness of the issue, and it looks like they've done exactly that, as fabhat said. I don't see anything 'stop gap' or 'reflex' about the action, sorry.

max said...

When I first saw them I though:
- there must have been some muggings going on here;
- good that they are alerting the residents to use some extra care here;
- nothing more.


(AP,P&P check this, it may save you a fortune in psychoanalysis)

Headhunter said...

LB - It's not alarmist by a station/Tube because it's highly likely that people will pull their phones out of their pockets as they exit the station - either to make a call to tell someone they've arrived or because they now have the space which they didn't previously as they were packed like a sardine on the train itself.

Surely it's around stations that thieves will pick out the majority of their victims, and follow them to a quieter street to carry out the attack, so yes, I'm sure that the quiet conservation area streets are the scenes of muggings, but to get people to be careful around the station is surely more productive than plastering residential streets with alarmist signage.

This would also target people who might be new to Brockley - ie meeting a friend, these people are more likely to be staring at road signs/street names, phone in hand not paying as much attention to what's going on around them

It's certainly annoyed more than "4 people on this site", neighbours of mine also feel the signs to be unecessary.

As someone pointed out earlier, the conservation area is supposed to be a protected environment and whilst I synpathise with victims of crime these yellow signs are a blundering attempt at a solution without much thought process

fabhat said...

Shock - just seen two police "walking the beat" along wickham rd...

Headhunter said...

I saw a police car rolling slowly along Manor Ave the other evening... It's about time!

Brockley Nick said...

@Max - good that you're so calm and confident in response to these things. Not everyone is as lucky - some people get scared. And these signs don't do anything to help them.

Bea said...

Maybe the solution is to buy a £30 pay-as-you-go phone and keep a written record of all your phone numbers. That way if the phone is nicked - it ain't such a problem.

And perhaps walkmans should become the latest retro designer idem as I'm sure no one wants to grab those anymore. Sourcing cassette may be a problem of course.

That way there's no need for yellow signs littering our lamp posts.

max said...

Well, I have been the victim of an attempted robbery some years ago and I was quite traumatized by the experience, so on balance I think that it's better if people are reminded to watch out if there have been robberies in a particular area.

Anonymous said...

Max, that only works if the signs actually do anything to protect people. Which is hightly doubtful.

Oh, and if the choice is between APP&P and George Galloway, then I am emigrating.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

If the police have requested them to be there - and they are, after all, independent from the council (they get their money from a different pot) then i think they should stay. Its the closest 'expert' assessment that we can get to where they are best suited to be placed.

I suggest the NIMBY brigade find something else to moan about. ignorance springs to mind.

Anonymous said...

These signs can be seen in the tree lined roads of affluent chiswick, so what exactly is the problem?

By the way the signs must be working as robberies in the borough have significanly declined.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the discussion? We know they are elsewhere in London - that makes it worse not better. And are you seriously saying that they are responsible for a London-wide reduction in crime?

Give over.

Anonymous said...

AP&P you seem to love a bit of authoritarianism, being told what to do and how things are by men in uniforms, that kind of thing. Whatever floats your boat, if it's good enough for Max Mosley it's good enough for you I s'pose

Tressillian James said...

This isn't about Nimbyism - why does that get trotted outwhenever anyone objects to something in their area. A lot of people are wanting to see the evidence - the signs say crimes are happening in the area.

It's good to see that they are up for a limited period - but the council quotes 'data' as the reason why they are up here - but don't give us facts. I think you'd find a lot of people, including myself, would support these signs wholeheartedly if we knew the figures that prove the issue.

Also wouldn't a better crime prevention tool be ...policeman. walking the streets...maybe chasing someone.

BTW if you do need to report a crime the best place to go is City Noodles on Brockley road - there's always a friendly copper in attendance.

Anonymous said...

I think we should have a neighbourhood watch website so people can warn others when we have an outbreak of crime.

|In my experience he police do not make it easy to report crime at their Lewisham call centre.

Some might have a touching faith that someone in uniform is watching over them, but others might require a little more evidence.

Anonymous said...

These signs are good I feel much safer knowing the local crime reduction people are on the ball FOI is great, sorry if it addects house prices but personal saftey for me comes first.
CUTTING SIGNS DOWN IS A CRIME, JUST SHOWS THE TYPE OF PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN THESE AREAS.

Tina said...

The irritate the hell out of me. The sooner we get rid of them the better.

lb said...

[Max] Yes, my thought exactly.

[anti-sign people] There seems to be a lot of flailing around here with people trying to make out that the signs "don't work", are "alarmist", or splitting hairs over where they should be placed. None of these arguments have the ring of conviction - with the exception of the frothing over what an 'eyesore' they are. If you just don't like the look of them and feel they make the area look a bit, y'know, cheap, why don't you just say so and leave it at that? What would you be happier with, signs written in lovely neat handwriting in chalk on a bit of blackboard? Would you be happier if they were done by Banksy?

Anonymous said...

Lb, for once try not to be a contrarian dickhead and stop patronising people, accusing them of having a hidden agenda. Stick to the argument:
1. They scare people. That's obvious, people have said as much. Don't call them liars.
2. They don't help people. None of the pro-signs people have explained what these signs actually help people to do.
3. They look ugly. That's a point made in the original article. Wanting to improve the look of our streets is a perfectly noble goal.

You and andy are nothing but pointless trolls.

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Ah anonymous - don't be harsh on LB - I love the posts - they are so predictable.

And yes LB - I would love them to be done by Banksy...as we'd be making a packet after we ripped them down.

Anonymous said...

LB has not called anyone liars, just stated points.
I think the signs are good its great to show the public that our council take note of crime and are working to make us aware of hot spots,bet the crime figures are better for the time the signs have been up!
I heard they are constructed out of materials that can be recycled which is great, perhaps we can have various issues put up each month to keep us all inform!
Keep crime down, its what we want.

Anonymous said...

Anon, from what you've written, you are the same person who wrote on another thread that you sold your house to get out of brockley because it was in terminal decline. Which means that a) it's none of your business and b) you don't know what you're talking about. Goodnight!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

It's the NIMBY brigade i tell you!

I think the signs should stay put.

Anonymous said...

OK, they can stay, just as long as they're not erected in my own back garden!

*eats KFC*

Anonymous said...

The signs are moronic.

As in anyone who needs reminding that they may get jacked in London.

lb said...

Anonymous 22.18:

1) As far as I can see, one person has actually said the signs scare them. The rest have said they think the signs would scare people, which is rather different.

2) They remind people to keep their valuables hidden. Myself, Max, fabhat and Anonymous @ 13:55, (who made a very sensible post) have all stated this. This is what the signs actually do, and it's something that the police regularly recommend. Christ, I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with the police, but in this case, it seems sensible, having seen the effects of mugging more than enough times. The official response has confirmed that the signs are part of a broader intitiative, too.

3) Yes, my point being that this was the only consistent argument people were bringing up. There's no hidden agenda; the agenda's perfectly obvious.

Headhunter said...

No "flailing" or "NIMBYism", the signs ARE an eyesore and they DO make the area look cheap.
There's no evidence that they work, they have only been up for about 2 weeks, and already a lot have been removed/vandalised making them even more of an eyesore.
I don't believe they are made of recyclable material, they're just corragated plastic, strapped to posts with plastic zip ties... Nothing ecological there!
Haven't actually seen any real justification from LB or APPP for having them plastered all over the area

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

The justification is that they are a cheap, cost effective solution to get the message across to a wide audience.

I've tried to make it clear that people respond much more quickly to visual stimulus.

I'd be happy to let the police perform their duties in other ways, but that creates problems in a modern society whereby not everyone would welcome the police on their doorstep, speak english, or even understand what a ipod was if it was described to them. (a picture tells a 1000 words etc...).

HH all i can say to you is expect more of them - not just in policing but health and safety etc.. everything has to be clearly signed in order to protect people against those who do not share common values (a shared cultural identity). Nowadays, as pointed out earlier, in a multi-cultural society this means all of us.

If you agree with multi-culturalism then you should welcome them to stay.

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to say that residents in Manor Avenue have taken them down.

fabhat said...

I do think it's interesting that there is a lot of comment that these signs do nothing - and that therefore it is justified to remove them. Is there no trust in the council/police's judgement that the signs are needed where they are placed - even for the short time that they are supposed to be up?

Nick is right in that the signs do put the onus on the person reading them to be aware - however i like to hope that the signs also make the snatchers aware that what they are doing has been noticed, and is being acted on.

How can any constructive appraisal of the effectiveness of the signs be made when so many people who are offended by them have simply removed them? Even if there was an attempt to quantify the good - or not - the signs have done, the loss of so many signs would make it impossible.

Headhunter continues to assert that :
1 - only non Londoners use their phones etc in public. I've lived in london since I was 3 - and like LB have lived in far rougher areas where I wouldn't have used my phone in public. However the peaceful nature of brockley's streets, esp in the conservation area, lulled me into a false sense of security. So perhaps it's also people like me. seasoned Londoners - HH you may think I'm an idiot - who need reminding to be careful as well.
2; that all attacks start by the station and then end up in the conservation area. From personal experience, that simply isn't true. From seeing people's behaviour in the streets I would also say that there is as much, if not more, use of mobiles etc in the residential streets than in the area by the station - which is darker and more 'urban'.

I think I've found this debate frustrating, because exactly what the hated posters warn about did happen, to me, in the place the posters are sited. The fact that so many people on here would prefer to ignore the fact of attacks like mine in place of preserving the upmarket air of the conservation area rankles.
Now, I'm off to try and remove some ladybirds - without ap&p's ladybird playing cat.

JPM said...

The signs were 'littered' along a school run.

A lot of children, yes they can read too, were very 'bewared'.

The signs were 'not specific' to a particular crime having taken place, rather desigined by daft individuals with a budget to spend claiming that they were bringing awareness to another daft sod who wasn't aware that London is a crime hotspot.

It is a criminal offence to affix any sign to any wall or lampost, and (in some cases) planning permission should be sought. (Even by silly departments within the council who did not seek such.)

Failing that consultation with residents is a good idea.

As by way of a light hearted full stop, I contacted the man who makes them and told him there were seven in my road. 'Blimey! I wouldn't want to live in your road!' was his response. He also added that the signs as described were old ones that he thought the Met had 'got rid of'. (The Met denied it was them.)

Whatever... very daft idea... daft defence of a daft idea...And if you don't think so, why not be really daft, come and collect them and place them in your street.

For anyone with an IPOD or mobile I've invented a pair of rose-tinted glassed with a yellow warning sign painted on the glass: B-E-W-A-R-E it says. 24/7 paranoia on the cheap.

lb# said...

JPM, you did actually read the communication the Council sent you, didn't you? They were "desigined" (sic) and deployed in response to a police request for them to deployed in an area where data showed that heightening awareness was necessary, not just. Judging by the amount of people I see using their phones in these areas, reminding them is a good idea. Or are you going to classify them all as "daft sods", to use your words?

As for the application of development control laws; well, in this case, they don't apply. Do take the trouble to verify facts before posting them as 'arguments'.

Headhunter said...

For the record, I have never asserted that only non Londoners use their phones in public.

I trust police judgement, but as yet, no one has even established that the Met actually put the signs up and indeed, if JPM is to be believed, it sounds like they calim to have had nothing to do with them!

Equally, Councillors who have posted elsewhere here have not managed to find anyone who seems to know where the signs have come from.

Re the signs removal, I think this has been the results of general vandalism rather than annoyed residents. The signs themselves are very flimsy and not well attached which is why the whole thing smacks of a slapdash, blundering attempt at addressing petty crime in Brockley, by person or persons who appear to wish to remain anonymous who have ridden roughshod over regs regarding attachment of signs to lamposts

fabhat said...

HH this is where I think you talked about it being suited to people"new to London:

"In fact I'm sure most Londoners are pretty aware that thieves target people with ipods and fancy phones so something more targetted would suit better, somethnig aimed at people newly arrived in London who may be less aware."

The signs might have come down through vandalism, but there are also a lot of people on this site proudly annoucing that they have cut them down...

lb said...

[HH]

"person or persons who appear to wish to remain anonymous"

- The Safer Lewisham Partnership were responsible, in response to a police request. That's what the mail JPM received stated.

"who have ridden roughshod over regs regarding attachment of signs to lamposts"

- There's something called "deemed consent" with regard to information given by public bodies. These signs would fall within this, especially if they're temporary.

geezer said...

AP&P...erm..your point is that the signs are 'visual' so that foreigners who can't speak English won't get robbed?

I like this line too...

"...in order to protect people against those who do not share common values (a shared cultural identity)...."

So the theives who are snatching ipods by the bucketload do not conform to 'our' common cultural identity? Or to paraphrase if there were no foreigners we wouldn't need signs? Or the signs are actually to warn us of foreigners? I'm very confused.

Hmmm...interesting. Total bollocks of course but interesting.

max said...

He's just trying to be nominated for the Troll awards.

Headhunter said...

Fabhat - I did write that, but it's a bit of a stretch to interpret it as assertion that only non Londoners use their mobiles in public!

LB - I bow to your greater knowledge, I was under the impression from the original article and messages from one of the Councillors (attached to another article somewhere), that no one had managed to identify who was responsible. How did you manage to confirm that The Safer Lewisham Partnership were responsible? Doesn't look like JPM wrote that...

fabhat said...

HH - accepted I might have stretched it slightly, but do you agree the sense of what you said was that it is only non/new Londoners, or those new to Brockley need warning?

patrick1971 said...

I agree that signs to warn people are a good thing. After three muggings, I thought I was pretty streetwise, but still managed to have my phone ripped from my hands when I was texting a friend on a bus. I had let my guard down and it was totally unexpected - the guy just grabbed it from me as he walked out of the door of the bus. Had I been a bit more aware, I'd have been holding my phone differently so as to make it impossible.

That said, I do think the signs should be aimed at the criminals, rather than the victims. They should make criminals aware that the police know it's a hotspot for crime, rather than scaring the bejesus out of law-abiding citizens.

The only place I've actually seen the signs in question is on Lucas Street. I was especially annoyed when I saw them there, as I'd taken to using Lucas Street to walk home down, as a way of avoiding the parade of shady characters along Lewisham Way! But they did serve to make me more aware that I wasn't in as safe a place as I might have thought I was.

On balance, I think the principle is sound, but I think it could have been carried out better.

Does that post succeed in agreeing with everyone at some point? :-)

Anonymous said...

@Fabhat - you say you support the signs because you were mugged and you wish you'd behaved differently. That's understandable. But of course, it was the experience of being mugged that changed your attitude, not the signs. Out of interest, do you think if the signs had appeared before the mugging took place, that it never would have happened?

Brockley Nick said...

@Patrick1971 - so being mugged 3 times didn't make you sufficiently aware of the risks, but seeing some signs on lampposts would?!

This is my point, we can be as aware as we like of the risks but a) the risk of crime is not a reason not to use your phone in public, any more than the risk of being run over is not a reason not to cross the road and b) being "aware of the risks" doesn't necessarily offer you greater protection. It just makes you think about the risk of crime all the time, which is no way to live your life.

patrick1971 said...

Anonymous @13.13: the signs in Lucas Street certainly made me more aware of my surroundings in that particular location, which, due to it being a nice leafy street, I'd considered safer than Lewisham Way.

Brockley Nick said...

@Patrick - so now there's no street you feel safe on. That's a good thing is it?!

patrick1971 said...

@brockley nick: "so being mugged 3 times didn't make you sufficiently aware of the risks, but seeing some signs on lampposts would?!"

But it's a different type of crime, I think. The three muggings were menacing, violent and premeditated, and I don't think I could have prevented any of them. The phone snatching was because I let my guard down and was using my phone in a careless manner. It was a crime that I could have prevented from happening had I been a bit more aware. And, as I said earlier, the signs in Lucas Street certainly had an effect for me.

I take your point that they can increase fear of crime, and that they should be targeted at criminals, not victims, but on balance, I think the concept is generally positive.

patrick1971 said...

@brockley nick: "so now there's no street you feel safe on. That's a good thing is it?!"

Now there's no street that I'm less AWARE on. A slightly different thing. And yes, maybe it's something that I should have been doing anyway. But the fact is, I wasn't, so the signs have helped.

I am really amazed at the level of strong feelings this issue has generated, btw; I really don't feel that strongly about it, but the signs have definitely touched a nerve!

fabhat said...

anon@13.13
It's hard to say isn't it - hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I think that I assumed that the wide streets of wickham/cranfield/tressillian etc were relatively safe (which in comparison to many areas they still are) and acted as such. Had I come out of my house, seen a dodgy kid on a bike, then seen a sign re phone snatching then yes, I think my phone would not have left my pocket. But if it rang, and I was expecting an urgent call...who knows. However, I would really have thought I was an idiot, if I had my phone snatched after seeing a massive sign about it...

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that these signs are useful for the kind of people who require the "this may contain nuts" notice on a packet of peanuts.

max said...

Some people do need it.

Anonymous said...

All this points to a lack of communication between the council/police and the communities they are supposed to serve.

It would be rather nice to know what the policing/CCTV/tree policy is for Brockley without trying to work it out from the appearance of signs, the planting/felling of trees and musing whether CCTV cameras are working and what they are supposed to observe.

Is the role of our local councillors to explain policy or is there some raft of documents available in the public domain? How do we question operational decisions that seem confusing and ill thought out?

The council tax bills will be arriving soon and I'd like to be assured that my taxes are being used to provide effective local services.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly 'mug' is listed as follows in the dictionary:

4. British Slang. a gullible person; dupe; fool.

Anonymous said...

The signs went up, crime came down.

I wonder what signs about dog pooh tell us about an area? Mmmm let's see, street's are unsafe to walk down definately a Jimmy Choo no go area.

Anonymous said...

@Anon13.45 - what are you talking about? There are no stats to show crime fell in the areas where the signs appeared.

max said...

Anon 13:39, that's what the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are there for.
If you join them you can take part in constructive dialogue with the police and actually set what their priorities for your areas should be.

Brockley Nick said...

I think you mean "the crime came down, the signs went up".

The signs have only been up a few weeks - I don't think statisticians (or crime statistics) statisticswork at that speed.

@Max - haha, good one.

patrick1971 said...

"4. British Slang. a gullible person; dupe; fool."

Indeed, I believe this is whence the verb "to mug" was derived.

Anonymous said...

It's cruel to mock police initiatives, Max.

lb said...

[HH] Hi, the email JPM got said

"A spokesperson, for the Safer Lewisham Partnership, said [...] We therefore only use [signs] for a limited time period in areas where there has been a specific police request for them. The signs in Brockley will be taken down in the next couple of weeks as planned."

In answer to his question about who'd decided to put them up:

"The decision was made by the partnership action group of police officers and Council staff"

They do have a webpage and an email address, if you want to query them about their policy (probably quicker than trying to route the query through the rest of Lewisham Council).

lb said...

By the way, some of the minutes of the Partnership meetings are up on the Lewisham website; though not recent ones. If you're than interested, mail them and ask for the minutes of the most recent meetings to be released under a FOIA request, or something.

Tamsin said...

Wow - don't log on for twenty-four hours and 100 postings go up!
Random thoughts.

We had this debate on thehill forum a while back - in response to opportunistic burglaries someone had put posters up on trees with a view to warning the criminals that they were being watched (same principle as the very discrete Neighbourhood Watch signs that were so popular a few decades ago in posh leafy areas).

It's ironic that the Council can plaster an area with huge yellow plastic signs (the ones I noticed were down Tanners Hill BTW) when if you put up an A4 poster on a tree you in theory risk a £75 fine.

I'm glad they are only there temporarily - and I hope we can keep the Council to their implied promise to take them down if they have not been removed by the end of the month. They look even more dreadful half vandalised (whether by the criminals who do not want their victims warned or by the NIMBYs).

Targetted leafletting at the stations is a good idea - or a single big yellow sign. Both of which have been done at New Cross Gate in the past years, but it does seem that the crime does not necessarily originate there.

To mount my particular hobby horse - excessive use of mobile phones is anti-social behaviour in is own right and (do divert totally from the thread) when done by adults out with children should be reported to social services. What sort of message are you giving them? "The person you can't see is more important to me than you are..." I once narrowly avoided a child at a bus-stop stepping into the road - and her mother was with her yakking on the mobile.

The streets of Brockley and Telegraph Hill are lovely, though, and may be I am thick-skinned but although I have had my bag snatched a couple of times (not as terrifying as mugging would be I agree) I am not scared to go out - just more aware.

And what I wanted to come here to post about - lovely old guy with a german accent playing the harmonica by the library opposite Barclays Bank near the Jam Circus. Not busking for money, just for the pleasure of it. Great.

JPM said...

Neither the Met police, the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the Lewisham Police, or Lewisham Council claimed responsibilty. (Several other boroughs have been targeted too.)

Finally, after a month almost, (during which I then contacted Lewisham Council's press office) the statement was issued.

The Lewisham Partnership did not lay claim to this Targeted Action inititiative - until then.

It claims (without adducing evidence): "We therefore only use them for a limited time period in areas where there has been a specific police request for them." (In other areas they have been up for several months, and look set to stay.)

However, as stated above, the police denied making a 'specific' request (or any request) for these signs, both at local and Met level. (This was confirmed by the Met press office too.)

It's the terms 'targeted' and 'action' - used in conjuction or separately - that make me pause. Two very emotive and powerful words that invoke the likes of the Sweeney etc. 'Pull out all the stops! Kick in every door! You are nicked!'

No such luck, Guv... This really is a hands-up to the thief. A Dayglo sign saying BE EVERYWHERE...TOO BUSY TO STOP YOU. (At least we are going to get better lighting though, so we won't have much trouble reading the signs at night.)

To recap, these signs are part of an old batch, were not requested by the police, do not highlight (or suggest) that a particular crime has taken place (in that particular street, although that is what they in fact say), and upset a lot of residents and children too.

Yes we are also concerned about crime. But is it to beyond the bounds of comprehension that an old crime job lot needed to be offloaded before the next council crimefighting financial year?
(According to their manufacturer they were old and not longer produced.)

Yellow doomsayings of possible crimes erode our liberties as much as the crimes themselves. And I
I do think it bonkers when a council safety response states, "We will continue to target theft and vandalism to cars throughout the borough,” whilst not actually targeting the criminals themselves.

Bonkers, yes. And daft sods the lot.

adam brown said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Anonymous said...

Welcome Adam, at last some sanity.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

JPM,

only briefly read the first couple of paragraphs of your last reply, but in response to the Met police not claiming responsibility, have you considered that it could be a different police force?

I was luckly enough to go out on patrol with a lewisham sergant who informed me that there is some sort of shared resource scheme between lewisham police and bromleys police. I'm not saying this is the case, but merely pointing out that things are often more complex then that often seen by someone on the outside looking in!

On a different note, this is what drives me crazy about journalists - often they see 50% of the facts and they think the've got it so they publish a story. A story that would of been published a completely different way if they had 100% of the facts.

Anonymous said...

This is quite revealing...

Has anyone been frisked by the police on an anti terrorist excercise at Brockley Station?

So, an illegal dentist has been operating in the area. Wonder how their rates compare with the crinally high charges at the legal dentists.

Sadly no news of the warning posters. But it looks like Vanessa has broken her ASBO and the commiters of Crofton Park no longer are asked for money for 'Baby Milk' .




http://cms.met.police.uk/met/boroughs/lewisham/03working_with_the_community/sn_teams_newsletters

spincat said...

How I agree with you about mobile phones, Tamsin.

Anonymous said...

AP&P...are you really suggesting that one of your strong points is checking facts before you launch into one of your more bizzare theories?

I'm still waiting for confirmation about your idea that the signs are somehow linked to 'national identity' and being able to speak English.

lb said...

[APPP] The Safer Lewisham Partnership includes police officers from the Lewisham station, there's your answer. They sit on the panel - it's a physical group of people that conducts regular meetings. Despite JPM's research genius, he failed to detect this, or perhaps neglected to point it out, preferring to quote the "bloke who makes the signs" rather than the people who actually put them up.

As I've said previously, if you or indeed anyone are generally interested in the policy decision behind the signs, perhaps they should request the Partnership minutes? Or get their councillor to request them for them?

[tamsin] There's nothing 'ironic' about public bodies being able to put up such signs, it's something called 'deemed consent', as I said. There are also specific rules governing Neighbourhood Watch signs.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

@anon, i guess you're the one to write abit before on this blog?

I get so confused with so many anons!

I did read you're blog, chose to ignore it as you have somehow mis-interrupted what I was saying.

But as obviously want an explanation, and I'm happy to provide one here goes:

"I'm still waiting for confirmation about your idea that the signs are somehow linked to 'national identity' and being able to speak English."

1) Firstly, I do not think I used the words national identity but I was referring to a culture whereby we all identify as having roots in it. What this means is that we understand each other and therefore know what 'informal' boundaries exist - i.e. Hugh would of realised that the word 'pikey' is offensive to some people in modern society if he had common shared values with pikeys (and therefore realised the harm it would of caused).

My point in this regard was not aimed at the criminals, but some the residents of the road who may of needed some sort of 'message' given to them about what others would deem normal precautions (such as not waving your ipod around).

The indirect link with immigration is that those coming to this country for the first time will have known different values in the country where they came from. People take time to integrate, and can take many years.

The second point about english is with regard to the signs. The signs have 'pictures' on them, I think of an ipod/mobile phone, in bright yellow background. Its quite a striking sign. In my opinion, you dont need to know english to understand them.

This is why they are useful and should stay.

On a seperate note, the bbc realised an article this week about immigration having an insignificant net benefit to the UK. I think this is a fair comment.

Anonymous said...

oh well that's cleared that up then.

So imigrants are all theives and need to be reminded that stealing is not the british way? Or need to be warned not to flash their ipods because we're all theives over here?

I'm not as smart as you clearly.

Tamsin said...

@ Spincat
To go off on our own little conversation - reading "Toxic Childhood" recently and something as basic as well-intentioned but mistaken buggy re-design has a significant impact on parent child bonding and language development. Old fashioned prams are a bit ludricous in the modern age but there is something for the child to be in eye contact with the adult pushing it and sharing babble and smiles rather than "stimulated" by the world rushing by at knee level while the mother talks to someone else on the mobile.

patrick1971 said...

Has anyone else had a look at the safer neighbourhoods teams' newsletters in anonymous's link? Interesting stuff, but (and call me a snob) did anyone else notice how bad the standard of written English was in the newsletters?

Bea said...

Continuing on the side thread ... Tamsin the buggy design world has latched onto this issue and a quick visit to Mother Care will provide a choice of well over 50 buggies designed both inward facing (for baby) and outward facing (for toddler) in addition to a whole load of other bells and whistles like removable car seats that can be plopped into the frame. They also come with fancy price tags!

The problem is that when baby grows up and gets bored of looking at its carer it demands, usually in tantrum like fashion, to face outwards. I guess it’s a bit like café culture. They sit in their “Jané Slalom Travel Systems” sucking on their bottles watching the other buggies go by.

JPM said...

JPM's research genius fails to detect many things, but the Safer Lewisham Partnership wasn't one of them. In fact I might shove my way onto the Board and argue at the coal face.

Anonymous said...

I saw a baby facing pram yesterday which was like a pod on 4 wheels, very 21st century and swish.

Tamsin said...

Yes, I think the fundamental thinking has been re-thought (if you see what I mean). On the other hand that is still no help if the adult is yakking away on a mobile phone or plugged into her MP3 player.

spincat said...

Yes, i saw something recently about someone who'd invented a facing-the-other-way buggy. Seems like it only recently came on the market

Cllr Dean Walton said...

Two things in relation to the signs that I have done:

(1) Trying to obtain a definitive response from Lewisham as to who put them up, why, cost, effectiveness, when will they be removed etc.

(2) Made a proposal to the Stronger Safer Communities Select Committee that they look at how effective these are in actually reducing crime and what impact they have on the fear of crime.

With regard to (1) I'll send any information I get to Nick; with regard to (2) we'll have to wait to see if the committee agrees to such a proposal.

Thanks

Dean

JPM said...

Well done, Dean, some sanity at last. Please ask them to liase with residents next time.

Bea said...

Thanks Dean - I look forward to reading their responses.

Anonymous said...

Police - I have just done your job for you and rounded up the mugshots of all those responsible for crime in Brockley - in a handy video format.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-MghZBMuQ&feature=related

Anonymous said...

I wanna be in their gang!

Are a lot of people from Brockley really 'doing time'?

Anonymous said...

A bunch of kids pretending to be bad guys. Some will be, most won't.

Anonymous said...

The Mean Streets of Brockley? I don't think they are talking Conservation Area here.

In fact the background scenes look very West side of the tracks. If they are trying to tell the world of the similarities with the scene outside their local chippie and Bronx, maybe we should take their word for it.

I think this parable of the streets was a message aimed squarely at other crews that hang around other chip shops on other council estates. The Brockley Massive is a force to be reckoned with. Peckham had better be listening.

Anonymous said...

What's all this 'blue borough' s**t about?

The Brockley Telegraph said...

I saw a large gang of black kids (about 30 of them) making a video outside the bob marley murial aka 'rap' style about 3 weeks ago.

What I found interesting is that they were all black, I mean, why havn't these kids integrated? Surely the whole of brockley isn't black? Why were there no white kids?

I walked past them from the station to degustation. I felt quite threatened considering their body language.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again....

The Brockley Telegraph said...

But that could of been because I'm gay, and felt threatened that I would be a victim of some sort of 'hate' crime or something.

However 'multi culturism' does not always work.

1 in 5 gay people still face discrimination/bullying and intimidation. Its now legally allowed to discriminate against gay people nowadays if you have religious reasons for doing so (gay weddings in islington anyone?).

In my experience, hate crimes are disproptionately comitted more by ethnic minorities, as there is a higher chance they do not share the same broad baseline values as the majority in society and therefore feel the need to 'lash' out.

To deal with this, we should integrate those who feel excluded from society to create a common set of social values. That, by definition, is not multi-culturalism.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

... you don't want to get caught sitting behind, as someone might put two in your spine...

great lyrics, what does that tell you about local knife crime? charming eh?

Anonymous said...

I suspect this was not an equal opportunities gangsta rap video they were making.

I doubt whether they ticked all the boxes correctly in their grant application Lewisham council. They are usually quite insistent on that sort of thing.

You could have been witnessing a completely unlicensed community art event! Edgy!

Anonymous said...

-------------
I saw a large gang of gay men (about 30 of them) dancing together at the pride festival at lewisham people's day yesterday

What I found interesting is that they were all gay, I mean, why havn't these people integrated? Surely the whole of lewisham isn't gay? Why were there no hetrosexaul kids?

I walked past them from the blue area to the yellow area. I felt quite threatened considering their body language.

--------

Anonymous said...

A fair point. Most of the gay people I know, though they are usually decent chaps, socialise almost exclusively with other gay people and the main topic of conversation of a night out is usually being gay and doing gay things.

Anonymous said...

Andy -
Why did you think you'd be a victim of a hate crime? Do you look Gay? What does Gay look like? Did you mince past them Quentin crisp style?

Anonymous said...

andy was interested and surprised to discover that all patients staying overnight at lewisham hospital turned out to be ill or in need of medical attention, likewise 100% of all people giving birth in the new play tower birthing facility were rumoured to be female, and most startlingly a straw poll conducted at a local mosque revealed that every person present admitted to being muslim, survey's carried out at local job centres found most visitors were either unemployed or searching for a job, and almost all car drivers were found to posess a driving license of some kind,

in other news reports suggest that the pope continues to be swayed by catholicism

Anonymous said...

I think the you tube clip sums it all up really. The simple fact is that nice folks don't want to integrate with ignorant, resentful, lazy teenage problem kids. They should be impounded and taught something of use and put to work for social good. The self respect they would learn would help them get out of the insecure, hopeless lives they have. Their own community can't help with role models or parenting so the state should intervene and crush them.

Please support BC by clicking here when you shop with Amazon

Brockley Central Label Cloud