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Wells Park Road murder – more needs to be done to tackle serious youth violence locally 6 July 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Police, Young people.
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This is an extended version of a story which appears in the July – August 2014 Forest Hill Focus

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of James Hunter, who was murdered in Wells Park Road, Sydenham, on May 31st. Residents told us of their worries about crime in precisely this area. It is really important that these concerns are taken seriously and, now that Sydenham Police Station is closed, that there is a local and well advertised place where people can talk to the police.

Lib Dem campaigner Margot Wilson said: “I have been in contact with the local police about what plans they have to patrol the area and what early intervention projects there are. They have told me that they are currently in discussion with the council about further events around youth engagement in the area following feedback from two meetings at the TNG in the days after the murder. I am concerned that while there are projects to counteract serious youth violence in others parts of London, there appear to be none in Lewisham.”

Duwayne Brooks, Lib Dem candidate in the election for Mayor of Lewisham, described his heartache at being told of another death among our young people and offered his condolences to the families:

“For years, I have been trying to highlight the issue of serious youth violence in our borough but it has been constantly denied and I have been continuously blocked. I tried to implement an early intervention procedure to help target those nine to thirteen year olds who get caught with the wrong groups. I was told it’s not needed. Now we have another unnecessary death where a number of families will be in pain for something that was and is preventable.”

The Focus Team had contacted Lewisham Homes about the possible gating of blocks on Wells Park Road earlier in May, after the issue was raised by a local resident we called on. Lewisham Homes told us that they do not currently have funding to install door entry systems. They can only repair and maintain existing systems. However they do intend to work more closely with residents through consultation to agree improvements to estates. This plan is in the very early stages and subject to approval and funding, but if it goes ahead residents will be invited to put forward their suggestions.

The Focus Team have written to Lewisham Council requesting a 24 hour monitored CCTV camera be placed on Wells Park Road. While this would be council-controlled and funded the police would also have access to it and it would provide a valuable supplement to their patrols in the area.

The police have been working on expanding neighbourhood watch schemes generally in and around Forest Hill. If you would be interested in getting involved let us know and we can pass your details on.

Residents in the Sydenham part of the ward should be aware that the Police have drop in centres at the Sainsbury’s Savacentre, Southend Lane, Sydenham, SE26 4PU, on Wednesday 7-8pm, Thursday 7-8pm and Saturday 2-3pm. They can otherwise be contacted at Catford Hill Police Station.

Designated Public Place Order Review #se23 #se26 14 February 2012

Posted by Alex Feakes in Community, Police.
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The Safer Lewisham Partnership are currently undertaking its annual review of the Designated Public Place Order. The Order gives the police extra powers to address alcohol related anti-social behaviour and disorder, and will influence things like alcohol control zones.

You can feed in your views to the consultation here: http://lewisham-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/community_services/crsp/evaluating_the_lewisham_designated_public_place_order_alcohol_related_anti-social_behaviour

Alternatively, if you’d rather not contribute your views directly, then you can do so through us – please drop us an email at foresthill@lewishamlibdems.org.uk

Thefts from gardens in #ForestHill #se23 & #Sydenham #se26 31 January 2012

Posted by Alex Feakes in Community, Forest Hill, Police, Sydenham.
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If you have been the victim of a theft of materials from your garden, or know of someone who has, we would be grateful if you could drop us an email at foresthill@lewishamlibdems.org.uk. There have been a number of similar incidents reported in recent weeks, and we would like to know how widespread the problem is.

Climate Camp on Blackheath 27 August 2009

Posted by Philip Peake in Lewisham Council, Police.
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A bit out of our area, I know, but I thought I’d go and take a look at the Climate Camp which has been set up in Blackheath over the past couple of days. (Actually not far from my 90-year-old granny’s flat. She thinks it adds a bit of excitement.)

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Blackheath’s Lib Dem councillors are understandably concerned about any negative impact on local residents and have issued a statement which Andrew Milton has reproduced on his blog. Meanwhile, Labour Mayor Sir Steve Bullock seems to have gone off the deep end, and has been pulled up by local blogger Blackheath Bugle who points out “the heath is a mess every sunny Saturday with people simply boozing, so it won’t make much difference.”

Yes, the camp is unlikely to make much difference as an individual event, but what Bullock misses – while ranting that his method of persuading people is the only one that will work – is that people react differently to different forms of communication. Some people will learn new facts and tools for dealing with climate change from the media reporting about Climate Camp. It will help bring the issue to the front of some other peoples’ minds. And maybe even some who go along to join in for the fun of it will get involved and become an environmental leader of the future.

Anyway, here’s hoping that the week goes off well. It’s looking that the police have learnt lessons from G20 and are taking a far more neighbourhood approach to this one, and it was good to see some very senior council officers there talking constructively to organisers. The atmosphere I got was good-natured and hard-working: the initial phase of setting up is pretty complete – they’ll be moving on to workshops and their own brand of info-tainment soon. Local residents have been invited to visit, and if many other people come from across London, the organisers might be unwittingly helping the capitalist economy of Blackheath Village.

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