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.