Would Jacqui Smith buy a kebab in Brockley?

We've been debating whether to post something on the topic of crime and safety, as we run the risk of going over old ground.

However, the Brockley Central community has grown considerably since those days and a number of readers have emailed us concerning the release of CCTV images of a 'steamer' gang, that attacked and robbed train passengers from Forest Hill, before disembarking at Brockley. The attack took place in November 2007.

On the other hand, the News Shopper reported earlier today that:

"CRIME on [the Southern railway network] has dropped by 10 per cent, according to recently released figures.

"The statistics show there were 4,740 crimes on the Southern railway network, which includes Penge West, Brockley and Anerley stations, last year, compared with the 5,283 in 2006.
This figure includes a 16.75 per cent drop in violent crime from 639 instances in 2006 to 537 last year."

We were once the victim of an attempted "steaming", but it was when we lived in Greenwich and before the advent of mobile phones. We didn't have any money on us either, so they had to accept that it was a futile exercise. There was a short debate about whether one of them should beat me with his belt as a matter of principle, but they decided that their time might be spent more productively further down the carriage.

Conversely, when we lived in Charlton and travelled on the same train route, we accidentally got on the train while leaving our wallet on a station seat. In a panic, we got off at the next stop and sprinted back to Charlton to see if it had been handed in. We were told that a guy had found it and had just got on the train that was about to leave. We jumped on the train and went down the carriages asking if anyone had found it. It turned out the discoverer of our wallet had handed it to the train driver, without taking a single penny.

So, we suppose the point of those stories is that, on balance, we tend to be an optimist about human nature, rather than dwelling on the nasty people in life.

Since we wrote the original piece about safety, we have seen a few unsavory things locally and through writing this blog, have become aware of some other people's bad experiences, but we've still never felt threatened in Brockley, nor been the victim of any crime. However, we also recognise that, as a born-and-bred Londoner, we tend to see the city differently from others.

So would our Home Secretary feel safe on Brockley's streets? Do you?