Cllr Brooks calls for action against Skitching

This is an open letter from Cllr Duwayne Brooks about an issue that was recently highlighted on BC, albeit without giving it such a catchy label:

Dear Cabinet Member for Youth

I am writing to express my concern about the growing problem of “skitching” in parts of Lewisham. As you may be aware from my colleague, Cllr Phillip Peake’s question at the last full Council meeting, “Skitching” is the act of hitching onto a moving vehicle such as a bike, car or bus whilst on roller skates or using a skateboard and is proving a particular problem on some bus routes in Lewisham.

I am pleased that the Council has now said in response to Cllr Peake’s question that it will be looking into different ways of raising awareness of the dangers of ‘skitching’ amongst young people in Lewisham. However, I would urge you to ensure that any programme is launched before the summer holidays.

I am concerned that some young people in Lewisham that I have spoken with were not aware that skitching breaks the law and I know through my conversations with the local police and youth workers that this is a very real source of concern locally.

I am also particularly anxious to ensure that young people are made fully aware of the dangers of skateboarding and roller skating in moving traffic more generally particularly with the schools about to break up for the summer holidays.

Skitching is extremely dangerous and I am concerned that this growing trend will lead to serious accidents if not addressed as a priority. I am of course happy to help and assist in any way I can.

27 comments:

Timmy2wheels said...

Saw yoot doing this on the 484 route up Harefield Road the other day.

obs said...

Interesting, so what happens to you legally if you survive serious potential physical damage and get caught?

Faux Berry said...

to be fair, that is a very steep hill to skate up...

Marc said...

Usually when I drive back from work, circa 18.30 on a weekday, there is a group of approx 5-8 kids on Erlanger Road (next to Telegraph Hill) requesting a hitch up the hill. Once up, they speed down the hill.

Sometimes, they even block the road to make you stop !

kolp said...

The kids have already moved on, there's moving on skates whilst being pulled by a dog. Bitchin'

The Settler said...

Man Dem?

No, Kid Dem.

let them skate!

SK8 or die etc

Anonymous said...

In these modern times why are council questions not on the council website?

Anonymous said...

Uninterested consequence: screenings of Back to the Future now banned in the borough.

Anonymous said...

Not this again. For heavens sake was nobody ever a kid???? Happened in the 70's (did it myself on a skateboard on a steeper hill than vicars hill), 80's and it's carrying on...

It's nothing new...let kids take the risk. Big problem is that no-one is allowed to take a risk anymore - it's part of learning, growing up and realising what consequences are.

The police and the council have much more important things to do than police this behaviour.

Anonymous said...

It really is NOT a growing trend, just another craze that comes and goes

Brockley Nick said...

Trends do come and go. That´s pretty much the definition of a trend. I´d say "craze" is a more alarmist term.

Mb said...

Fairly sure that the police or bus companies would have stopped anyone hanging. The back of a bus in the '80s. Yes, teenages take risks and adults have always had a responsibility to mitigate the risk. It's what grown ups do, take responsibility for those too immature or stupid to take it for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Brooks as I recall was a lone voice during the busybody/nimby/dogwhistle raids and should be listened to.

Cynical said...

Where was Brooks during the riots last year? I don't recall him speaking out against the troublemakers.

Irelevent. said...

Dunno. Anyway, back to the matter being talked about.

Matt-Z said...

@ Anon 17:34

Yes, the Borough's many cinemas will be at a loss.

Lou Baker said...

Why do our councillors persist in spending our money on the minority who cause trouble?

We do not need a taxpayer funded publicity campaign to inform anyone that hanging off the end of a bus is dangerous. It's common sense to know that hanging off the end of a bus is dangerous. And if you do it anyway, well you're a twit. And if you get hurt, hard luck.

Seriously, spend some cash on people who do the right thing for a change.

DB said...

Not to get bogged down in semantics - but just fyi - 'skateboarders' don't do this. 'Kids who own skateboards' however may have been spotted partaking. Though not by me.

Anonymous said...

Strange comment from "Cynical"

Cllr Brooks was working with Lewisham Police - helping them communicate to various local groups.

Anyway, back to the thread skitcking.

Anonymous said...

Strange comment from "Cynical"

Cllr Brooks was working with Lewisham Police - helping them communicate to various local groups.

Anyway, back to the thread skitcking.

Anonymous said...

Lou - that's all well and good if they are the only ones who stand to get hurt by it, but they're not. If I'm walking down the road with my baby and we get hit by a flying idiot on skates then it's pretty clear which one of us is most likely to end up getting hurt.

Anonymous said...

Was 08:29 a Dog Whistle?

Mb said...

One of the things that some people seem to have a problem with is that public representatives, be they MPs or Cllrs, is that they represent everyone, even the "undeserving" and those who don't vote for them or perhaps have never voted. Obviously not represented in the same way but not just "your people". The BNP suggested that they would only represent theor supporters when they won a euro seat. They were ridiculed and shouted down. All part of being an enlightened, modern society. personally I think that's resonable and in fact even good honest SE4ites benefit from not ignoring those on the margins. We're all accepted by drug abuse so don't ignore the problem or simply rely on THE BIG STICK!

It's not difficult, we're stuck with each other so we have to make it work. Some would like camps and sterilisation for those undesirables, they are mental though.

Peace and love guys, peace and love....

Anonymous said...

It's a brilliant idea. Darwinian evolution in action. Let them do it: if they are bad at it their skateboarding genes will not be passed on to the next generation.
On the other hand, if they are good at it and do it safely, then what's the problem?

Richard dawkins. said...

You seem to have crept through, you are the giant panda of anons.

Anonymous said...

In the American south in the early 90's this practice was known as Skiffing, and a friend of mine killed himself doing it, recreationally, in a quiet cul-de-sec. The likelihood of a skitcher flying out backwards and hitting your pram or pet is low; the inclination is for the kid to be flung forward under the tyres of the car they were hanging off of. If you find your car harpooned by one of these remoras please do not slam on the brakes.

Anonymous said...

My son was recently the victim of a "skitching" accident, he is slowing recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Is the driver at all responsible for this accident?

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