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The council does little to address violence

12 April, 2018

• I WAS shopping in Queen’s Crescent on Saturday, just before 1pm, when two young men, one armed with a meat cleaver, ran up shouting and screaming at a third young man saying they would kill him.

This went on for some time and when one of the shoppers pulled out his phone to ring the police he was told by a bystander not to interfere. Nevertheless the police were called and arrived in a few minutes but the two perpetrators had run off, as had the intended victim.

What was amazing, and very worrying, was that other bystanders just stood around as though they were watching a television drama. Is this now the new “normal” in Camden? One would not expect people to intervene but they could have shouted to distract the two men.

I am aware that some people, including myself, have been threatened, for reporting matters to the police, but unless there is a clear stance on violent criminal behaviour with actions it will flourish.

Gospel Oak residents attended a public meeting at the end of January and were promised a report and action plan. The former took over eight weeks to produce.

A few weeks later, with great fanfare, the council leader announced some £400,000 for the voluntary sector to work with offenders. So far as I am aware not a penny of this has been allocated to date.

Given the inactivity of Camden Council it is, perhaps, not so surprising that residents do not interfere as the council utters fine words and sponsors “community conversations” and goes on marches but does little to address the violence.



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