Showing posts with label Croydon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Croydon. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Croydon abandoned by middle-class"

Forget for a moment about today's inevitable news that native Brits are officially a minority in what was their own capital city - it's what was reported last week that struck me :

"One of Croydon’s biggest private employers has said that it could be forced to move out because middle-class workers do not want to live in the borough.

Mike Webb, chairman of insurance company Allianz Global Assistance, warned that his firm was struggling to maintain its pool of 600 staff because of Croydon’s negative image. He told a business summit aimed at promoting the economic renewal of Croydon that the middle-class talent pool from which his company recruited was leaving the borough at such a rate that the firm could be forced to leave within two to three years.

His warning that they may quit comes on top of Nestle's announcement earlier this year that it was moving its Headquarters to Gatwick. And in October another major employer, department store Allders, was closed down after administrators were called in.
“Croydon has been a fantastic place for us and we would like to be here for a long time,” Mr Webb said at Develop Croydon last Thursday. “The key issue is how we are going to continue to find these people because we see a large drift out of Croydon of the middle-class who have traditionally been our employees. If they are not here in two or three years, we won’t be here.”

Mr Webb said that the firm had long-standing links with the borough and that, traditionally, most staff lived locally. However, he said that the public’s perception had worsened after last year’s riots and added: “We need to be making the case for Croydon and its strengths more positively.” Mr Webb told the Standard that his company was committed to staying in Croydon for the next three years, but might reassess the situation if the trend continues. “When I said middle-class people, what I meant is white-collar workers,” he said. “Not necessarily graduates, but hard-working and enthusiastic people.”

Croydon was, well within living memory, one of those London boroughs like Ealing, Bexley Heath, Dulwich - shorthand for safe, dull, conformist suburbia. Gone.

The laurels are speckled in Marchmont Avenue
Just as they were before,
But the steps are dusty that still lead up to
Your Uncle Dick's front door.

Pear and apple in Croydon gardens
Bud and blossom and fall,
But your Uncle Dick has left his Croydon
Once for all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On Ken Clarke and Rape Stats

Clarke is a let-em-all-out Euro fanatic, and I will unsay no word I've spoken about him. But his main failing in his now-notorious interview was to be ill-prepared and ill-briefed to discuss what he should have known is an incendiary topic.

The good Inspector speaks - I merely report :

As a serving policeman, there are several things I am not allowed to talk about.

There are plenty of operational secrets we cannot discuss, but I’m not referring to those. I’m talking about the taboo subjects. The ‘detection’ rate for rape is one of these.

It’s very frustrating to sit and listen to pundits talking about the low number of rape convictions in Court, when as police officers we all know what lies behind these poor numbers.

For example, I couldn’t possibly tell you that out of every ten rapes which are reported in Ruraltown, at least eight turn out to be nonsense. To be fair, eight out of ten of everything reported at Ruraltown police station is nonsense, why should rape be any different?

I couldn’t tell you that of the remaining two, an existing alcohol-fuelled chaotic drug-based relationship is a factor in at least one of these, and ‘consent’ is probably present in the other to some degree. In my whole service I can only recall three stranger rapes and a half a dozen where consent was withdrawn at the time and he carried on. But I can’t tell you that.

I can’t tell you that most of the adult rapes reported in Ruraltown represent either the latest in a series of allegations designed to score points against an ‘ex, lies designed to fend off an angry parent when a curfew has been missed or a defence mechanism when a jilted ‘partner’ discovers an infidelity.

A rape once reported, even if withdrawn later, is in the system and a failure to bring someone to justice, even if it never happened, shows up in the ‘detection’ rate. The ‘detection rate’ is low because the number of rapes which actually happen is low. I couldn’t possibly say that though...

The facts about rape seen from the street are this: most genuine rapes are against children under 13 years old and are within the family or family circle. Genuine adult rape is rare and nearly always charged to Court; what a jury do next is for them, but it usually comes down to ‘consent’ issues, and being as they were not in the bedroom at the time, and we are not simply proving intercourse because that is already admitted by the defendant, it’s not really within our gift to prove or disprove consent. Consent can amount to one word, said in a half whisper six months before in a darkened room where no one else was present.

But we can’t possibly say any of this. We will simply accept that it’s all our fault and promise to do better in the future.
I don't know. The one thing I'll say is that from purely anecdotal evidence, the chats a young man has with young women, is that an awful lot of girls seem to have had some kind of assault in their early teenage years - from the groper on the bus who you dread to see getting on board (and of course you've not told your parents although it's happened several times) to the one-off stranger exposing himself as you take a short-cut though the churchyard. There are definitely some bad people out there.

Meanwhile, back in lovely Croydon - into what category would the inspector put this alleged attack :

A teenager was chased down a residential street after being raped by her new “boyfriend” and his flatmate, a court heard. Cousins Corrie Pinney, 35, of Yardbridge Close, Belmont, and Jermaine Kraftner, 27, from Poole, Dorset, also invited Desmond Enwright, their uncle and father respectively, into the room to join in the attack, Croydon Crown Court heard on Monday... the group stayed up drinking, smoking cannabis and listening to music before Mr Kraftner said: “You don’t know what you’ve signed yourself up for.”

Charming. I keep hearing that most sexual assaults take place within the family, not with the participation of a family.

Mr Pinney and Mr Kraftner deny charges of rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment and ABH against two victims in separate attacks. They have admitted charges of ABH relating to a second alleged rape, which Cassie Webb, 20, from Croydon, denies aiding and abetting. She also denies false imprisonment during the attack in 2010.


Also in Croydon :

The mother and daughter were visiting Taryn’s boyfriend Jason Stevens, who had lost his 17-year-old sister in a car accident in August, when the trio spotted Georgia Marney walking down Cudham Drive. She had been banned from the road pending her upcoming court case for causing death by dangerous driving.

As Mrs Price was driving towards Marney she shouted at her out of the window of her car. She told the court: “I said ‘What the hell are you doing here, you are not supposed to be here. I did call her a murderer, which I should not have done. She was shouting rubbish at us, f-ing and blinding.” Marney walked towards the car, punching the window three times to make it shatter. Her daughter Taryn jumped out of the car to protect Mrs Price, whom she feared Marney was going to punch, and began grappling with her in the street. She also admitted calling the teenager a murderer as they fought and pulled each other’s hair, before Mrs Price stood on Marney’s hair so her daughter could escape.

As Taryn Price got up to collect her phone from the middle of the road, Marney kicked her mother in the face, breaking her glasses and leaving a cut above her eyebrow which required hospital treatment.
Ho hum.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Croydon (V)

I noted Julia's post on the recent Tamil gang fighting in Croydon, and put it down as one more milestone on the road of diversity.

I forgot they've been at it since at least 2008 :

Gangs of violent men from Sri Lanka are "constantly tooled up" and "ready to go", according to police.There have been a number of violent clashes involving groups of Tamil men in Croydon and other parts of south London in recent years.

It's because of this sort of thing that I wasn't in the chorus of righties a few years back demanding that all the Gurkhas (and their families) be allowed in. Admittedly the Tamils of Sri Lanka have a violent recent history, whereas the violence of the Gurkhas has always been directed against the Queen's enemies. But it struck me that there were three objections to the idea :

a) do we want to recruit soldiers for whom the family immigration pass is the chief motivation?
b) is this not likely to impact upon Gurkha society back home, if the (hopefully - see (a)) bravest and best don't return to form a respected elder statesman class?
c) what's going to happen to their children and grandchildren, brought up in the culture of the UK? Will they retain both their fearsome warrior credentials and their dignified Nepalese culture, going straight into the forces as their fathers did? Or might they perhaps keep the warrior bit, but turn out like the children and grandchildren of those highly respectable people who got off the Empire Windrush, or those who arrived in the textile mills of the Pennines? The Gurkhas seemed OK to me just as they were, although there was always a case for upping the pensions.

I noted this killing a couple of years back :

Morden residents Rocky Gurung, 21, from Haig Place, and Kemik Thakali, 21, from Legion Court, both pleaded not guilty to murder during the trial last month but were found guilty of the manslaughter of the 23-year-old waiter.

During the trial, the court was told Bishal Gurung, who worked at the Sherpa Kitchen in Esher High Street, was chased along the Thames Embankment by a gang of 10 to 15 men including Rocky Gurung in the early hours of April 13, 2008, after being falsely accused of hitting Kemik Thakali with a bottle during a boat party to celebrate Nepalese new year.

He was kicked and beaten before being rolled into the Thames by Rocky Gurung and Thakali, the court was told.

Now I doubt that these people, though Nepalese, were the sons of Gurkhas. There's been no time for that. I just wonder what the streets of Aldershot, admittedly never the safest place to be out on the lash, are going to be like in twenty years time?

A town risks being 'overwhelmed' by Gurkhas and their families in the wake of the landmark decision to grant former servicemen the right to live in Britain, an MP says. Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, has made a plea to the prime minister for more funding to deal with an issue he said was of 'grave concern' in the area, following an influx of thousands of former soldiers and their families. The former shadow Defence Minister's letter to David Cameron, reported in, said: 'This has had a very significant impact over a very short period of time and it is now estimated that 10 per cent of the borough of Rushmoor’s population of approximately 90,000 is Nepalese.'

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Croydon IV - news via Google

Hits for "oliver got stabbed in South Croydon" (00:57:17 led me to this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What Really Happened In Croydon ?

When news breaks about something like the "litter rage" attack on two police officers in Croydon, the place to go is often the comments section (if it exists) of the local paper.

Sure enough, the Croydon Guardian :

Posted by: Iain, Purley on 10:56am Fri 18 Jul 08
I saw it. It was a mob of black youngsters - both male and females - who went completely crazy. It wasn't obvious what the row was about.
So far, alas so predictable. But an hour later (I've trimmed the comments to those who claim to have been there) :

Posted by: DJW, croydon on 11:58am Fri 18 Jul 08
I didn't see inital confrontation but all i saw was the police man excessively hitting the girl with the baton and then jumping around and hitting people who were trying to restrain the girl themselves this is what obviously angered other people and led to everyone chasing him around and attacking him

Posted by: mark, selhurst on 12:00pm Fri 18 Jul 08
I was there and saw the whole incident from the very start. The police officer attacked the girl first and it escalated from there. If a man was to assault a 15 year old girl with a metal pole you would say that he should be locked up, so why should he get away eith it just because he's a policeman. He broke the law and he should be punished.

Posted by: sian, london on 12:08pm Fri 18 Jul 08
i saw the attack myself, and it was nothing of the sort as to what has been printed. the police were handling the teenage girl appaulingly and 2 passers by challenged the police about such brutal behaviou towards a minor.

Posted by: Colin, London on 12:24pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Don't believe a word that "DJW", "mark" and "sian" say. What a strange coincidence that three people - all of whom claim to have witnessed the confrontation - should happen to chance upon this site within 10 minutes of each other. This is obviously one very sick individual using multiple IDs to smear the police and deflect our anger away from the savages who committed the asault.

Posted by: Roberta, Croydon on 12:56pm Fri 18 Jul 08
The police did not attack the girl - they did grab the girl but only after she attacked them. She was abusive and swore repeadetly at the two police officers who were just trying to keep the streets of croydon clean. Why was she in central croydon at 3pm along with other teenagers and the behaviour of the adults was appaling. And we wonder why the black teenagers are ever becomming an ever increasing problem on Croydon streets if this is the way there elders behave. I am absolutley disgusted and am seriously thinking about getting out of Croydon - a place where I was born.

Posted by: mark, selhurst on 1:37pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Despite what Colin says, the fact remains that I was there and did witness the whole incident. Whether you want to believe it or not, the officer attacked that young girl and anyone who thinks they were correct in there actions should go and take a long hard look at themselfs. She is a young girl and he is a fully grown man, would Colin and the rest of you be happy if a adult male assualted their daughter, I for one would not.

Posted by: mary, croydon on 2:24pm Fri 18 Jul 08
First of all im really sick of people lying and making up stories, I was there and I saw the policeman hit the young lady many times with a baton,because she dropped rubbish the policemen attacked her. It upsets me how so many people are telling lies and it is a shame that the police officer will get away with it. Ihate to say it but I feel because the young lady is black the public are defending the policemen.

Posted by: Tony, London on 2:53pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Your attack on these teenaer are without warrant, I know both of these teenagers personnaly and consider them to be very motivated intelligent children. I ask my self how could a simple task but a couple of inept (I guess community officer) cause such a problem. Instead of blasting the teenagers maybe we should be looking at the stupidity and antagonistic attitude of the police. I would call on us to demand a police enquiry!

Posted by: mark on 3:15pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Nobody has the right to assault anyone this includes the police. There's a correct way of dealing with littering, I'm sure that grabbing a young girl by the throat, hitting her repeatedly with a metal baton and spraying her with cs gas is not one of them. Furthermore, what you haven't been told is that another innocent girl who was there, was also hit in the head with the baton causing her head to be split open. So do you feel that this is justified because it was purportrated by the police. As I said before, I WAS THERE. WAS YOU.

Posted by: mark, selhurst on 3:37pm Fri 18 Jul 08
All of you bleating on about race should grow up. This is not a issue of race but of a fully grow man attacking and assaulting a young girl. Also the officers were not set upon by the crowd, they only tried to get the girl away from the beating he was giving her. lets me make one thing perfectly clear, ASSAULT IS AGAINST THE LAW, the officer broke the law and just so you know it was not about race, one of the officers was mixed race and the other was white. So it clearly was not about two white officers being attacked by a group of black people.

Posted by: marie, south croydon on 4:36pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Actually anne, the a ambulance was called and attented to the girl. The police refused to call an ambulance and it was the communitee that had to come together to get her medical attention. If the communitee coming together to help a young girl who is being brutally beaten by two male police officers with batons is classed as a yob of people then something is seriously wrong. If it was your child you would want someone to step in. If not then you must not care about your children.

Posted by: Poonam, croydon on 8:56pm Fri 18 Jul 08
Let's release the cctv footage to the media. I was there and I am indian so not racist but the behaviour of the girl was so bad I would not repeat what she said. The police tried to call her down when her friend went crazy and suddenly a group of older people got involved. Release the cctv footage much like they did with the football fans who fought outside a bar so we can make up our mind having been in both situations I found wenesdays situation a lot more frightening but will it happen or will we not want to upset the black community. Answers on a post card.

Posted by: george, london on 9:47pm Fri 18 Jul 08
I was there and saw everything. The police were peacefully trying to trying to calm this girl down, when the mob intervened. The police only pulled their trunchons when they were attacked by this mob. Shame on you racists trying to slur the police.

Two points (apart from the delightful "I am indian so not racist"). Either the story which is in pretty much all the papers today is a pile of nagombi, or one (or more) individuals are lying through their teeth to make it an issue of "police brutality" - the sort of thing that 10 or 15 years ago would have had Lee Jasper leading an angry demo outside the local nick. The commenter(s) are reasonably literate - they're not written in txt spk brap brap language. I guess the paper could check the IP addresses of the posters, and this isn't going to be a case of 'we'll never know what really happened' - the CCTV footage will presumably give all the answers. I'll be interested to know if it's the police or the commenter(s) who are being very naughty boys.

See also : Croydon, Croydon II.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Croydon II

Remember the good old days (last year I think it was) when gangs of African and Jamaican heritage like DSN and SMN were the ruffest kids in Croydon and points north.

Things seem to have got more diverse since then :

Gangs of violent men from Sri Lanka are "constantly tooled up" and "ready to go", according to police.There have been a number of violent clashes involving groups of Tamil men in Croydon and other parts of south London in recent years. They culminated in the murder of 28-year-old Prabaskaran Kannan in Tooting last year. He was chased by a group of four men from Croydon who stabbed and slashed their terrified victim 31 times outside a fried chicken takeaway shop.

The chief investigator in the case which became known as the "Chicken Cottage murder" said Croydon's Tamil gangs were causing concern among officers. Detective Sergeant Mick Snowdon spoke out about the problems surrounding Tamil gangs after five men were convicted of Mr Kannan's murder at the Old Bailey. The court was told Mr Kannan was heard shouting "It wasn't me, it wasn't me" shortly before he was brutally set upon and killed. On Monday this week homeless Vabeesan Sivarajah, 22, Aziz Miah, 20, of Sumner Road, Croydon, Asif Kumbay, 20, of Grasmere Road, Purley, and Kirush Nathankumar, 18, of Purley Way, Croydon, were all convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury. They all denied the charges. The four were also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm to two gang members who were with Mr Kannan that night. Another defendant, Mayuran Srivinayagam of Greyhound Terrace, Streatham, was cleared of murder and manslaughter but found guilty of assault. Earlier in the trial a sixth gang member, Mahitharn Ratnasingham, of Lesley Grove, Croydon, was cleared of murder and manslaughter. He admitted assault. The men are due to be sentenced on July 7.

After the men were convicted Det Sgt Snowdon told the Croydon Guardian: "They the gangs are very violent. They are constantly tooled up and ready to go. It is almost like the level of violence is ad hoc. Whatever happens for them happens, and it depends on what weapons they have around." A businessman who runs a shop in Croydon said Sri Lankan Tamil gangs controlled most of the crime and had the town centre on "lockdown." Police have always in the past denied there was a problem with the gangs in Croydon, but have now admitted there was a specialist officer dealing with Tamil gang activity in the borough.

The comments are fascinating. It sounds as if a lot of Tamil gang activity is devoted to funding the LTTE, the Ceylonese terrorist group who are the pioneers and chief exponents of suicide bombing. We don't just get some decent (nay, excellent) tea and some interesting food - we get the quarrels, hatreds and crimes of the subcontinent too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Gang 'bans' rivals from town centre

Feb 9 2007

CROYDON'S biggest gang has banned its rivals from the town centre, it has emerged this week. Don't Say Nothing (DSN) has proclaimed Croydon its "turf" and the recent escalation in gang warfare locally is understood to be linked to this ban. Other gangs are said to have defied the warning and that is said to have caused town centre fights and even a recent stabbing at East Croydon station. North End has become a particular flash-point as DSN sees this as the heart of its turf.

News of the "ban" came at a Croydon Youth Court case last Friday where a 15-year-old boy appeared charged with affray over a town centre battle caught on CCTV. He was captured on film fighting with a broom from a streetsweeper's trolley as groups affiliated to DSN and Thornton Heath gang Straight Merking (killing) Niggas,also known as SMN,clashed. His opponent, who was knocked to the floor in the brief fight at 6.30pm on January 5, wielded a shovel also taken from the roadside. Olivia Kong,prosecuting, said that in a police interview the youth - who cannot be named for legal reasons - said there was an ongoing dispute between DSN and other gangs.
She told the court: "He said DSN proclaimed Croydon as their turf and other gangs should not enter Croydon. This has caused problems as a number of other gangs have challenged this belief."

A series of confrontations in and around North End and the Whitgift Shopping Centre have erupted with no obvious explanation. The Advertiser understands most are part of the ongoing war involving members of the DSN gang. DSN began in the South Croydon and Waddon area. The gang has fought rivals such as SMN and this has caused trouble in the town centre shopping parade at North End and in the Whitgift, which has since stepped up security.

One teenage girl who grew up with some of DSN's 20-strong hardcore members described how the rivalry has fuelled the gang problem. She said: "There are a lot of African kids in DSN and I got to know them because I had the same background. "Hundreds of people belong to it - there are so many now that some have never even met each other. The youngest is 12 and the oldest is 31. But there are even more when you count the fact that DSN has alliances with at least four other gangs, as does SMN. The networks stretch across South London."

On December 8 a good Samaritan had his ear partially severed in North End after trying to stop a teenager being beaten by youths in an apparent gang initiation ceremony. Our source - who does not want to be named - believes it was nothing more than a ritual to impress the "elders". She said: "To get into a gang you have to shank [stab] or rob someone, take a beating or prove your badness in some way. Once you're in you can rise to the rank of general and recruit other people. But if you mess up, like a robbery where the police get involved, you get de-recruited. It is SMN that has the most younger members because there are more schools and estates where they live."

In last week's court case the boy - who denied being a member of either gang and is of previous good character - was given a three-month referral order and ordered to pay £20 costs. A few days after that brawl, on January 19, DSN reportedly clashed with another gang outside Croydon College. The fight led to a stabbing at East Croydon station which left a 16-year-old in intensive care. Hours after it had happened, a post on the gang's website claimed it had been a battle with the Gipset gang from Gipsy Hill. But the most graphic insight into DSN's world can be seen in a video posted on the MySpace social networking website. It shows a youth from another gang - with blood oozing from the side of his mouth and a look of terror in his eyes - being forced to strip naked by DSN members. He is then slapped and told to identify himself, show his gold teeth and repeat the name "DSN" and the name of one of its allied gangs several times. Elsewhere on another Internet site a member of DSN poses with a gun.

Police do not comment on individual gangs but admit that collectively they represent an "emerging" problem in Croydon. The borough force will launch a dedicated unit next month - which is also backed by Croydon Council - to tackle the issue.

The locals don't seem too happy about all this, although a grateful populace returned a Labour councillor with an increased percentage at a recent by-election.

It wasn't always like that. Betjeman's poem comes from another age. That Croydon is vanished 'once for all'.


In a house like that
Your Uncle Dick was born;
Satchel on back he walked to Whitgift
Every weekday morn.

Boys together in Coulsdon woodlands,
Bramble-berried and steep,
He and his pals would look for spadgers,
Buried deep.

The laurels are speckled in Marchmont Avenue
Just as they were before,
But the steps are dusty that still lead up to
Your Uncle Dick's front door.

Pear and apple in Croydon gardens
Bud and blossom and fall,
But your Uncle Dick has left his Croydon
Once for all.