went to the ‘crime’ meeting on Friday on behalf of local traders to see if any
resident indicated that anti-social behaviour might be affecting their
businesses. No one mentioned the shops or Wilton Road or any other bad behaviour
apart from the motorcycling menaces that blight some residential roads on a nightly basis.
Only the day before I saw a youngster on an L plated Vespa style scooter go right over the Harrow Manorway flyover using only his rear wheel and while standing upright on the pillion seat all the while revving his engine up and down in an aggressive fashion. It was quite some skill and the rider really does deserve to end up in a circus - or a coffin.
The meeting dealt mainly with Greenwich but did not entirely ignore Bexley. Most of it was taken up with the Neighbourhood Watch and Safer Greenwich speakers who told us how the police could not be everywhere and how residents had to be their ears and eyes. It was a big advertising session for Neighbourhood Watch and there is nothing wrong with that.
Several residents rather made the case for them with examples of how the police never showed up for what they thought were quite serious crimes and how the Abbey Wood ward Councillors were ineffective and never responded. Probably there is an element of exaggeration about that.
Abbey Wood was said to be the only Greenwich Council ward that did not have a Safer Neighbourhoods Panel and it was suggested that that was the only way to get the police to recognise - prioritise I suppose - low level crime. It’s a message I have heard before.
The Neighbourhood Watch lady said that Councillors should respond because Councillors had a budget to deal with local problems. Maybe that is a Greenwich thing, I have never heard of it elsewhere.
There were three police officers present and at twenty two minutes past eight a sergeant from Belvedere - see; there is a Bexley connection in this blog - addressed the not quite 20 members of the audience.
He regretted the “propensity for violence” in modern society but said that “the internet gives us more crimes and it takes us away every day. The police just cannot be there. Neighbourhood Watch is the way forward.”
As someone in the audience remarked, “if the police stopped nicking people for using bad words maybe they could be there”.
Just before the clock showed eight twenty four the police sergeant handed the meeting back to Neighbourhood Watch and all three police officers left the building.
If you had gone to the meeting to listen to the Metropolitan Police’s crime prevention message you would have got your hundred seconds’ worth. They really are a waste of space aren’t they?
The only thing I got out of it was about sixty miles of free motoring thanks to Sainsbury’ electric car charger. What Abbey Wood residents got out of it I do not know, disillusionment probably. Do people who cannot spell the name of the area they supposedly serve deserve anything more?