Pop, pop, pop goes the pistol

Ben recently mentioned a shooting on Camberwell Church Street; today’s Southwark News describes it as a ‘Wild West’ gun fight, apparently involving seven gunmen, outside the Cube bar. Miraculously, no-one was hurt, although it’s still extremely bad news.

I can’t find any mention of it outside the local press, which actually scares me a little more.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

25 thoughts on “Pop, pop, pop goes the pistol”

  1. The shooting is bad news. And it is strabge the press outside of Camberwell fail to report it. Also there is a strange complacency from the police. Gun crime has to be stamped out now before it is a normal thing. Most of the crime seems to come from this rude boy culture of Im a bad man bling bling. Male bravado black or white. The youth in Camberwell adopt this drugs and money badboy attitude which is sad. They have nothing to lose, no responsibility so killing someone, stabbing or shooting or robbing can be easily done. What is he solution.
    First is drugs, the police have to attack it go all out especially in these areas. Zero tolerance.
    Secondly make it hard for the youths who wander aimlesly the streets looking to rob, take drugs and cause trouble. Stop them harrass them.
    Anti gun march or rally. How about an anti im a rude boy with no direction in life march.

    Ofcourse the youth need direction love and attention. Promote individuality sport creativity. Not lets all follow the same line of me a gangsta man nonesense.
    Where are the youth clubs, sport facilities.

    Some ideas on this subject anyways.

    K

  2. I think that in terms of sporting facilities, Camberwell doesn’t fare too badly; there are public tennis courts in Myatts Field and Parks Ruskin, Burgess and Brunswick, football pitches in Parks Ruskin & Burgess, basketball courts in Warwick Gardens and Ruskin Park, as well as the (admittedly underfunded) facilities of the Leisure Centre.

    I do agree with you on the rude boy culture, but suspect it might have more to do with living in decaying housing estates and having a community centre which prizes pound shops over any semblance of culture. An investment in the environment might be more beneficial than more stop & search.

  3. There was a note about this in Southwark News, April 20: seven blokes, three handguns, shots fired but no-one hurt (apparently this is quite common), at least 30 witnesses but no-one talking. Trident are investigating. Despite the “Wild West” tag, they are not reported to have been either riding horses or wearing leather chaps, which might have made the whole thing more entertaining…

  4. The rude boy thing definitely seems to have picked up in the last few months. It must be my imagination but it seems that way.

    Maybe it’s springtime, and the sap’s rising.

  5. Was this actually fallout from the cube club then? On a slight aside that’s another thing about Camberwell I don’t understand, and indeed lament.

    A tidy little club venue that used to have some cracking nights on (Melisma anyone?), Which now seems to be utterly dead bar for very infrequent private parties, which seem to be predominantly on some ‘shamoov’ dress to impress R&B tip.

    If this is bringing in the type of crowd that takes guns to clubs that’s just doubly sad. Who knows though – and believe me I would like to know a bit more why people are shooting each other on my street.

    One can only wonder what damage might have been caused if any of these tossers could actually aim.

  6. Was this actually fallout from the cube club then? On a slight aside that’s another thing about Camberwell I don’t understand, and indeed lament.

    A tidy little club venue that used to have some cracking nights on (Melisma anyone?), Which now seems to be utterly dead bar for very infrequent private parties, which seem to be predominantly on some ‘shamoov’ dress to impress R&B tip.

    If this is bringing in the type of crowd that takes guns to clubs that’s just doubly sad. Who knows though – and believe me I would like to know a bit more why people are shooting each other on my street.

    The problem as far as rudeboys go is they’re about as disaffected with society as it’s possible to get and regard it with scorn bordering on the nihlistic. Tony B wants us to have a cosy ‘culture of respect’ yet some ham-fisted outreach programme is probably going to have little impact, and merely implementing more draconian measures will probably only alienate people further.

    It’s quite ironic this happened on the corner of Camberwell Grove – Camberwell’s own millionaire’s row, when you can wander across the road and you’re already in a slightly grimey estate – and there’s the rub.

    There are a lot of very angry people in South London.

  7. The ‘cube bar’ should be shut down and a tea room serving scones opened in its place.. but seriously that place has real issues with drugs and violence. This might be a rumour but I heard that someone actually got shot on Camberwell Grove outside that bar a couple of months ago for not slowing quickly enough while one of these youths was crossing the road, high as you like, staggering about all over the place. The problem is gun’s to them are cool.. if you haven’t got a piece you are really a no-body. We’ve to somehow reverse this, flip it on its head.. if you’ve got a gun you’re a loser because you cant be yourself to get respect.. you have to force people to make people listen to you and how sad is that.. something along those lines. Still shutting down the cube would be a good start.

  8. I sat by two school kids on the 436 recently who seemed like likeable guys. They were catching up on the news of their friends one of whom had been recently attacked at which point the older one implied that he had a gun hidden somehwere in case he ever had any similar trouble.

    A lot of the crime I read about in South London Press seems to be by teenagers on other teenagers so I can see why they feel threatened. Not that that’s an excuse to carry a gun of course.

  9. It’s a sad and inevitable FACT that by persuing the lowest-common denominator, aggressive irresponsible, U.S.A free-market economics model that eventually it’s negative excesses are going to make themselves apparent in our nation as well — I also agree with a previous post suggesting that the council has a responsibility to discourage proliferation of 24 Hour Off Licenses/Fast Food outlets in the same area — Do they have any powers to object to this? Or does every other new business in Camberwell have to be either a fried chicken or alcohol shop?

  10. Not really on the same subject but does anyone have any info on those posters that have recently appeared on bus stops accusing Nick Stanton (Lib Dem leader of Southwark Council) of all sorts? I wonder who’s responsible? I was just thinking that in the whole of this election run i haven’t encountered one bit of positive campaigning — all parties involved seem to be concerned with mud slinging and petty accusations. No wonder people feel disillusioned with the political process and turn out is so low. I always vote in every election and consider myself quite politically aware and engaged but i have to admit this time i’m struggling to know who to vote for and even what the main candidates in this area stand for at all. Surely Camberwell deserves better than this?

  11. I got a four-page mock-newspaper from the Labour Party yesterday; pages 1 & 4 were about how crap the Lib Dems are. I didn’t bother reading pages 2 & 3.

  12. Mine all seem to refer to claims made by the other parties but clearly in leaflets I have not had. Basically none of it makes any sense.

  13. Peter — i got that leaflet last week — i thought that it was outrageous — i’ve made a complaint to Southwark Labour party about it. As a life long Labour voter (well only just! and not for much longer if they continue like this) i can’t beleive they are resorting to tactics like this — the only leaflets i’ve had from Labour have been ones rubbishing the Lib Dems (to be honest the Lib Dems haven’t been much better) there has, been no mention of any reason to vote for them just reasons not to vote for the other side. As i said in my previous post Camberwell deserves better than this bunch of childish, petty, backstabbing clowns.

  14. Actually, I have to apologise for my previous comment; it was a 4-page leaflet from the Lib Dems saying how crap Labour are, not vice-versa.

  15. I actually received one called The Rose which was Labour slagging off the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition!!! They are also scaremongering and saying that the Liberals are soft on crime and that we must all be scared to walk the streets at night!!! — I also have a Tory One called Herne Hill News which says they are the only ones comitted to a new secondary school in the area and that Labour/Liberals have dragged their feet when everybody knows that a new school is already at the advanced planning stage and is just waiting approval, which Tessa Jowell no less is trying to push through!!! — Think Conservative, Think Green — yeah good one that, surely a revelation on a par with finding out that for the past 40 years Ken Barlow has really been Dennis Hopper in disguise…

  16. Ha Ha! i love the fact that the Toys are now trying to be green — just ask a London Tory for their stance on the Congestion Charge now they are concerned about Green issues and watch them Squirm!!

    Haven’t seen or heard of any Torys at all — i don’t think they regard Camberwell Green/Coldharbour Lane as prime Tory voting territory!

  17. Well I live just off Coldharbour Lane (by Herne Hill Road) so maybe a batch of rogue Tory Pamphlets were delivered slightly outside the boundaries of their natural manor!!!

  18. And yet more bad news. I was passing through Peckham Road at around 15:00 yesterday, and the whole area was from The Academy school to the Peckham Arch was cordoned off with tape between the lamp posts, and a police persence to ensure no-one got through. A police officer I spoke to told me that three people were shot on Sunday night. For what little difference it might make, I am sort of hoping that — given the number of people involved — it’s perhaps more likely to be a gang fight between people who knew each other, rather than a mugging of some unrelated person. icSouthLondon do not have a story on this yet, but I suppose details may emerge this week.

    While Peckham and Camberwell are definitely improving, the process seems to be taking longer than one might hope. I can’t help thinking that Southwark has missed a trick here. Pouring £300 million into new housing has brought tangible improvements, but that alone is not going to turn things around. Central and local government really do need to get a handle on this. What makes matters even more sad is that it was only higher tax revenues from London that bailed out Gordon Brown at the last budget, yet billions of money is still being siphoned off to the rest of the country — I’m all for redistribution, but without investing just a little bit more of London’s money in London, the government will risk “killing the golden goose”…

  19. There is a bullet hole in the flying fish window! Apparently the Cube was bought ‘Cash’ by a wealthy Nigerian. It used to be a fun Mexican restaurant cafe.

  20. Well here’s a bit of bad news I am afraid. My son, a nineteen year old mixed race boy has been “stopped and searched” at least twenty times in the last three months in the Camberwell area un the name of better policing. Only once has he been given any paperwork. He has no criminal record bu last Saturday was put in handcuffs on his own doorstep, simply for parking his own taxed and totally legal moped outside his house and for daring to ask the police officer why he wanted to talk to him. Again no paperwork and he had to jump in front of the police car to get the officer’s badge no. He was searched in cuffs and not charged with anything, having nothing on him to interest the police.

    On Monday he was riding up the Old Kent rd and stopped again. He had had one drink several hours earlier and so the police officer breathalysed him. Fair enough. He ran out of puff and the machine bleeped so the officer told him off and arrested him again, put him in cuffs on the roadside and searched him. They took him to the station and left his bike on a red route at a busstop. The breath test they did was negative.

    As he left, the officers jeered at him saying-“You’re bike was left on a red route, so it will be stolen or taken by the red route patrol” He went back to the spot and of course it was gone.

    The bike was his pride and joy, bought with his won earnings. He needs his bike to get to his part time job and college. he was a victim of an attack himself last December and doesn’t like to travel on public transport as a result.

    Again he received no paperwork.

    So as Camberwell residents, spare a thought for the many young black boys on your streets who have done nothing wrong and are persistently harrassed and bullied by the police.

    We are breeding a community of youngsters who have nothing but contempt for the police. What can I tell him? How would you feel?

  21. It’s sad to hear about the hassle your son’s been put through Nikki. There’s nothing worse than feeling that the might of “authority” is against you, on top of everything else.

    The trouble is that we’re looking at a vicious circle here. As we all know, the police force was judged to be “institutionally racist” following the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. It’s clear that you feel that your son being mixed race has a lot to do with him being stopped and searched so much, and I’ve got a horrible feeling you’re right.

    However, we can’t get rid of the police. We need them. And them being branded as institutionally racist can only mean one thing: that many white people who abhor racism will be put off joining, and that very, very few people from minorities would touch the idea with a barge pole. I remember thinking when the story hit the headlines — How must this make the (many) decent people in the police force feel, being tarred with the one brush? It would probably tempt them into early retirement…

    And of course that would only make things even worse.

    I have been mugged once whilst in Camberwell, and the mugger was a black man. I know this is a silly comparison (I’ve not been mugged twenty times in the last three months by black men). What I’m trying to say is that we need to stop ourselves from treating any group, whether that of young black men or the police as all being the same.

    I honestly feel that the police (in general) take the issue of racism as seriously as the rest of us. However, if nobody from the minority communities want to involve themselves, and white people who are in no way racist won’t get involved either (for fear of being branded to the contrary) where are we heading?

  22. Thanks for your balanced points, copeywolfe. It isn’t that I think all police are bad, or that we don’t need them-it’s more that they don’t follow the procedures when they deal with my son. Nor am I saying that it is only young black men who are stopped of course. But in my experience as a middle class white woman who has been part of a black family for 28 years, there is dispropotion taking place. None of my son’s white friends have been stopped by the police in the last three months. The police that deal with my son are frequently abusive. I have brought him up to be respectful of the police and calm when they approach him, but his feelings for them are being badly damaged by their behaviour.

    My son has been stopped and searched many times, all by different police. They persistently refuse to tell him why they have stopped him. In fact they tell him to shut up. They don’t follow procedures. They humiliate my son in public places.On several occasions, they have put him in handcuffs and searched him on the street.

    I expect it is more comfortable for people to believe that there are a few police who behave like this and white young people get stoppped as often as black young people. Unfortunately in my experience this isn’t the case.

    I am afraid I feel my son is seen as a potential criminal by the police and society because of the way he looks. He is almost scared to be on the streets and no matter how uncomfortable it is, I blame the unprofessional behaviour of the police who stop and search him on a regular basis for that.

    I am probably responsible for tying up police time at the moment as I have vowed to complain on his behalf every time procedures are not followed from now on.

    Anyway, sorry to bring such a friendly forum down. But I think it is an important issue that local people shoould know about. It is easy for people like me, who have never been stopped and searched, to think that this only happens to the criminal elements of society. My son has no criminal record, is a college student and has two part time jobs.

    Incidentally, I too have been mugged by a black man. I have also been married to one for 25 years.

  23. Good on you Nikki for taking matters further each time your son’s put through this. It’s a shame you have to go to the trouble, but hopefully someone high up will act upon what you’re telling them.

    We have in Camberwell what many other places claim to have — a truly multicultural community (a phrase used to imply harmony elsewhere when this just isn’t the case). For what it’s worth you know that me and the vast majority of others round here would back your son up on this, whatever our race or colour.

    It’s just a shame that the same diversity of backgrounds isn’t reflected in those who police our area.

  24. I agree with you copeywole-I chose to bring my children up here rather than a leafier suburb just because I love the place. It is really the best place in the country to be a mixed couple and I have been free to live with the man I love and bring up my children with very little hassle. And I want it to stay that way-not for it to become a “them and us” situation, which is why it’s so important that we fight anything that threatens that.

    I am glad that you feel many would back my son on this and look to all of you to do so, wherver you have any influence.

    Thanks for the support

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