Monday, 8 August 2011
Riots in Shepherd’s Bush were breathlessly reported last night on Twitter as the local rumourmill went into full overdrive after somebody spotted two police cars sat outside White City station. Controversial Free Schooler Toby Young then weighed in with a report of a “major” police operation in East Acton, while others said they thought Westfield was under sustained attack.
Westfield was deserted according to pics posted by one reader keen to dispel the reports of imminent retail Armageddon while Shepherd’s Bush itself had what looked like a fairly mundane police operation stopping the odd person coming out of the central line tube.
as we have seen before in W12, actually risks provoking the problems it is ostensibly reporting on. Unkinder commenters than me may even think that they are hoping for something so they can draft more dramatic copy.
We have had some very serious problems in our area, not least the Lakeside Road shooting which bears uncanny similarities to the shooting in Tottenham that provoked the riots there over the weekend. To the extent that the victim was a young man sitting in a car, anyway. But the police, who do a great and at times very dangerous job as I saw for myself one Saturday night, do not need others whipping things up needlessly. Neither do our communities who debated amongst themselves on this blog following both the Lakeside Rd shooting and Hammersmith bus station stabbing just weeks later. In those comments, which you can read here and here in the comments section, you will find not one person advocating some kind of riot.
The best thing this community can do is to enjoy the forthcoming Bush Festival and keep talking to each other. I’ll be reporting on some more work I might be doing with the local police here shortly and if you have any views in the meantime, use the comments section below as normal.
Oh, and yes the blog did slow down over the last two weeks – I have been in the South of France! Normal service is resumed…
1230 UPDATE - I have just received the below information which was sent by the Borough Commander of Hammersmith and Fulham Metropolitan Police to H&F Councillors. These are the facts, therefore, and not the speculation:
A number of youths were involved in minor disorder against the police at approximately 1700hrs in the Edward Wood Estate. They moved from the Estate towards Shepherds Bush Green and then Westfield. Extra patrols were put in place around Shepherds Bush Green and the Westfield to ensure that there was a visible police presence to deter those considering engaging in criminality. Throughout the night we have worked closely with Westfield Management.
At 0400hrs this morning up to 9 males tried to smash glass to gain access to a premises in the Kings Road SW6. Owing to the extra patrols which were on locally officers were on scene immediately and 6 males were detained. Some of the property was recovered. They are still in custody. They are not local to Hammersmith and Fulham.
0850 TUESDAY UPDATE - Well, last night wasn't very pleasant was it. I have just come through Clapham Junction on my way to work and the scene here is sheer devastation. Entire rows of shops, including a large Debenhams department store, are gutted. The place smells like a bonfire, because I suppose that's what it was last night.
Back in W12 the Police tell me all was quiet with only sporadic outbreaks of disorder primarily in the south of the borough. Here's what a spokeswoman told me this morning:
"Sporadic disorder during the night, primarily in the Fulham area., around North End Road and the Clem Atlee Estate. 9 arrests were made for violent disorder and breach of the peace".
I know from other sources that some police have been moved out of our borough and towards other areas where the violence has been more intense. That, to me, makes sense. I also know that people have been working ridiculous hours both in H&F and elsewhere within the Met, in some cases on the front lines which is what some of our streets have become in the Capital. Public order police volunteer for their roles and receive no extra pay - and as this Police officer who also blogs says - they are starting to ask why they should, now that the Government are cutting their pay, pensions and even numbers.
1100 UPDATE - Meanwhile some of you have been noticing that the Fulham Chronicle is acting with its usual degree of responsibility -
This from their own site:
Posted by Chris Underwood at 09:01