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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:21 pm
by garth cartwright
To try and describe London for Gordon is difficult because the city varies so much. I live in a very poor, high crime area so hear sirens all the time. It's a tough job being a policeman, no doubt, but as with the beatings dished out at the G20 demos and Charles Menzies execution in Stockwell tube there is a feeling of a police force tooled-up and looking for violence. That no cop is ever prosecuted just adds to our cynicism. I don't have much to do with the police and didn't go to them this time cos it would have only contributed to what Ted describes - black boys being stopped and searched. I was in Peckham the other day about 3pm and 2 black girls about 15 crossed the road when it wasnt a pedestrian signal and a policewoman came over and really started giving them the fifth degree, threatening to take them down the station etc. I just dont see how being so aggressive in dealing with the youth achieves anything.

As for Gordon's comment on my getting into an argument with them regarding Balkan brass I can see it more me saying "you guys don't rate Tupac do you? He's so lame. Deserved to be shot!" And then I'd really be in trouble!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:20 pm
by Ted
Interesting things said here.

The police in London are largely recruited from outside. This began as a deliberate policy to avoid the corruption in the Met in the sixties and seventies where the police often had long standing relationships with criminals they'd known since childhood.

It means they are often policing communities they don't understand.

The best ones are often from Northern cities - there are two young beat cops from Yorkshire who do stop and search with a bit of wit and make the whole thing bearable - T. and Ez were still laughing about this when they came in the other day:

Cop: "Whats in the bag?"
T. "Chewing gum".
Cop. "OK. Lets have a look. That's a lasses bag isn't?"
T. "You what?"
Cop. "You're wearing a girls bag."
T. "It is not. You people need to be a bit more cosmopolitan."
Cop (raises his eyebrows) - "ooo thats a big word"
At this point Ez pokes the cop in his stab vest - "anyway you look like you're wearing a boob tube"
Cop (To other cop, smiling) : "Did you see that PC Jones? this youth just assaulted me"

I'm working on a more considered reply to all of this by the way.

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:26 am
by Ted
From todays Observer:

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:19 pm
by Ted
The boys were stopped on Amhurst Rd yesterday - they pretended they couldn't speak english. The old bill didn't search them or take their names. Thank heavens for GCSE German.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:19 pm
by NormanD
Street-wise or self defence? Or just another day in the life?

The few times I have ever been stopped / pulled over (no comparison intended at all), I've suddenly developed a terrible stammer.....

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:32 pm
by Ted
NormanD wrote:Street-wise or self defence? Or just another day in the life?

Both I guess. But they were so delighted when they came in afterwards it was hard not to be pleased for them. A story which will be told and retold I think.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:35 am
by darwin
Ted wrote:
NormanD wrote:Street-wise or self defence? Or just another day in the life?

Both I guess. But they were so delighted when they came in afterwards it was hard not to be pleased for them. A story which will be told and retold I think.

I think its self defense. What is your best personal defense that is most effective? Just asking your advice guys.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:00 am
by NormanD
Spam alert.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:37 pm
by jackdaw version
Now that the little spammer has brought the topic back into view, is the situation any better? Or is it worse? Reading back through last year's entries gave me a bit of a chill. A long time since I lived in London as I'm reminded frequently when I read various commentary here.

I lived in ghetto neighborhoods a fair bit in the US and there was nothing like the general level of violence I feel coming from London these days. The last I lived in, Richmond, CA, has, however, apparently degenerated quite considerably over the past eight years — third most dangerous city in the country or something by some measurement. I kept it under control back in the day!

And thanks for the spam alert, Norman. You're good at catching them.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:05 am
by Ted
Well its quite hard to say - most of what follows is anecdotal but here goes anyway.

Met police figures show knife crime in London has dropped since the intensive stop-and-search policy in black areas was started. As always its impossible to tell the difference between cause and correlation. Especially as no proper records were kept of who was being stopped and searched.

Its winter now, so people aren't hanging out on the street anyway, but one of the effects of the near certainty of being stopped if you go out has been to make (black) teenage boys stay indoors. They always did spend a lot of time in front of X-Boxes/PS3s etc. But they also used to spend hours hanging out on the basketball court or in the courtyards of flats. These were the most likely times and places for random violence, but also for S&S. ( I'd have to say that the particular group of boys I'm familiar with are doing GCSEs this year so that's keeping some of them indoors as well.)

T and his mates were pretty realistic about the random stuff - getting robbed for your phone/ipod/bike or whatever is pretty much a fact of life - the police have never been any use at stopping this kind of crime and it's almost never reported. I don't think I know a male teenager in Hackney who hasn't been robbed. But stabbings and shootings are almost always about something - the random killings that make the front pages are exceptions. What they are about has become more and more trivial - estate related gang business can get you killed for little more than being associated with the wrong people and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But S&S and the bike confiscation program has lost the police any trace of co-operation from the kids I know. All of whom have been victims of crime in the last 12 months, none of which was reported. One of them spent 3 months on remand in Feltham last year after a self-defense stabbing (With the kid who'd attacked him's knife). The police didn't question any of the other victims of the attack, and there was no way they would go to the police voluntarily. His brief advised him to plead guilty (assuming that he was) and he'd been banged up for a couple of months before CCTV evidence and a campaign by one of his teachers got him freed. I had assumed he was guilty too.

And T? He now wants to be a barrister to set right miscarriages of justice...

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:59 pm
by jackdaw version
Thanks for the thoughtful, insightful and informative reply. It's a sad world.

I hope T becomes a barrister. Lots of people have negative opinions of lawyers, but when their hearts are in the right place they can do a lot of good and really help people who need it. Good luck to him.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:51 am
by Ted
Sorry to keep banging on about this, but this is worth reading: ... tion-blunt

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:44 pm
by jackdaw version
The Met says that since Operation Blunt 2 began in May 2008 there have been nearly 2,500 arrests, with 550 knives, 20 guns and 150 other weapons seized.

That doesn't add up very well, does it?

This looks like the key point to me:
. . . Fitzgerald says this claim is not borne out by new Met figures broken down by borough which show a very mixed picture across London in the use of the powers: "The boroughs which have resisted politically driven pressures to take a gung-ho approach to using section 60 have been as successful in reducing knife crime, and often more so, than the boroughs where the police have been happy to let section 60 searches go through the roof."

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 4:52 pm
by Des
I witnessed two young black men being stopped and searched last night in St Pauls. The guys were walking in front of me and a cop car was just cruising slowly beside them for several metres. The men started to shout at the police car and the car drew up, two cops got out, strode over to them and held the men tightly on the upper arm. As I passed, one of the policemen said 'now listen, right? This may be a case of mistaken identity' but they still kept a tight hold on the guys. They started searching them and only after several minutes did they let them go, both men clearly angry as they walked away. Community policing. Lovely.

Re: Stop And Search

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:11 pm
by Ted