Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Police helicopter search over Goldhawk Road

A number of men fled from Police last night forcing the call-out of a Police helicopter and significant disruption to the Goldhawk Road as areas were cordoned off. I received no fewer than 15 inquiries from some of you as to whether I could find out what was going on and a number of you were actually quite angry about the noise and disruption, with one woman unable to get her kids off to sleep.

The Police have this morning given me a statement which is as follows:

"At approx 2200hrs on Monday, 5 September, police officers signalled for a vehicle to stop in the west London area.

The vehicle failed to stop and was pursued by police. A number of males got out of the car and made off in the Shepherd's Bush area.

The police helicopter assisted in the operation to trace the man.

One man was arrested. He was taken to a west London police station, where he remains in custody.

Inquiries continue to trace outstanding occupant/s of the vehicle".

So in other words the others all got away despite the closure of the road and the use of the helicopter which hovered over the Bush for what seemed like about 45 minutes with the heavy deployment of vans and police on foot.

And this also seems to be contrary to what one local journalist tweeted about this being a burglary - you know where you read it first, folks.

0920 UPDATE - It seems that I have upset the local press by getting the facts out before they did. My crime? Asking the Police what had happened and reproducing the statement they gave me in this article so you knew. My punishment? Some more verbal abuse from a potty mouthed journalist called Adam Courtney. Here's what he saw fit to post this morning:

There are actually some good writers at the Chronicle, Greg Burns being one of them and Dan Hodges another, but Adam very much isn't as you may be able to see from his grammar above. Quite why he gets so upset about a hyper-local site like this one, which is written by someone local in their spare time, being just ahead of him on this occasion is lost on me. It may well be that the car was stopped because of the rumour he was reporting last night about a burglary. Maybe. maybe not. But I don't know - and the point is neither does he, so suggesting it in public helps nobody.

So let's have a little less abuse, eh?

1055 UPDATE - First of all thanks for all of your support this morning. It does mean a lot, I just decided I didn't need to put up with the abuse any longer, so perhaps a public airing of Adam Courtney's rantings will lead to a bit better behaviour. 

But getting back to the events of last night here's the latest statement I have been sent by the Police to share with you: 

"The driver was eventually found with the assistance of police helicopter and police dogs, he was arrested for:

1) Failing to Stop for Police
2) Dangerous Driving
3) Unlawful Possession of Controlled Drugs (Cannabis)
4) Suspicion of Handling Stolen Goods (multiple mobile telephones)

One male remains outstanding"

1410 UPDATE - So many of you were upset about the commotion last night, and in particular the noise of the Police helicopter, that I inquired about what if any regulations are in place to govern its use. One reader, who wants to stay anonymous, wrote to say that her kids couldnt get to slepp and many others pointed out that this is now a regular feature of life in W12. 

A spokeswoman has told me that there is: 

"no time limit with regards to the use of the police helicopter as it is available 24-7 depending on flying conditions.

The helicopter will be at the location for as long as it needs to be and will try to cause as little inconvenience as possible".

The helicopter assists with the distance to see and focus with whats on the ground taking into account the safety of all concerned".


  1. What a t*sser. That guy Adam is unbelievable. Keep up the good work, Chris.

  2. Sounds like a case of insecurity for Mr Adam Courtney. You are doing his job better on a voluntary part time basis then he can and its his job. Your blog is a great source of info, so please keep up the good work!

  3. And then Adam Courtney drunkenly cried himself to sleep...

  4. What a douche-bag. I really don't understand how Adam is allowed to use that twitter username for a personal account - it looks bad on the paper - and now Greg is chirping in!

    Since no one at the paper seems to give a toss, I might get in touch with Trinity Mirror and see what they have to say about him.

  5. If anyone wants to complain directly to Trinity Mirror about the conduct of Mr Courtney, feel free to use the following address:

    Trinity Mirror plc
    One Canada Square
    Canary Wharf
    London E14 5AP

  6. I see that Mr Courtney has now deleted those tweets. I feel bad now, I've already written a letter of complaint, printed his tweets and put the whole thing in the postbox. Eek.

  7. Dangerous driving is a major cause of concern and I feel that such issues need to be addressed. Thank you for bringing this incident to our attention. Please drive carefully!

  8. problem is that all the sirens helicopter noise etc.. add to the general feeling that the bush is a dangerous place and add to the filth noise and urban nastiness. It could be argued that the broken window theory of policing should also call for a more low key approach to the acoustics of policing. When sirens and general commotion is heard one imagines the worst. Furthermore, the more we hear sirens the less impact they have.

    I do not buy the argument that they are used discreetly either as all too often I have seen sirens used by as they drive into the police station, when not wanting to be in traffic jams, entering an empty residential street after 11pm.

    I have written to the police and complained before but to no avail, the usual close ranks response is give that they only use the sirens when needed.

    If there was as much crime as sirens I think the bush would be up there with the likes of Mexico. The reality is that its not.

    I suppose its a argument of perception of what is necessary and on this the police and I do not see eye to eye.

    Whilst writing this 2 sirens went by.

  9. another siren seconds after I posted the last comment.

  10. another siren... going <------ way this time

  11. Underwood, you're pathetic! Your little one man war against the Chronicle is getting very old! I for one think that you are a tosser! You must think you are very important because you spend half the night locked up in your spuff stained room broadcasting "news" about W12, do us all a favor and F-off back up north!!!

  12. at risk of sounding repetitive... yes you guessed it another siren.

  13. I barley noticed that last one until the person on the phone asked me to repeat what I was saying...

  14. I won't count the last one I heard as it turned off and did not go past my window. I make that 6 in under 1 hour. Now I wonder is that is representative of actual emergencies in the same time frame

  15. @MG

    In all fairness, I think Chris did very little to provoke Adam - whose very public response was rude and way out of proportion, especially since he is supposed to be representing his company.

    I don't think that the "one-man war" is old, pathetic or, indeed, even a one-man war. It's fairly disgusting that a paper which led a hate campaign against "council propaganda" then signed a contract with the council to run their propaganda... just look at the Trinity Mirror Southern website: they have a big section headlined "Trinity Mirror wins council advertising deal" above a picture of their own "PROPER PAPERS, NOT PROPAGANDA" front cover! Hypocritical, amongst lousy (and obnoxious) journalism and other questionable practices.

  16. @Joaquim

    One slight problem... you're complaining about police but counting "sirens". There's a lot of ambulances about and if you think about the number of injuries/illnesses/strokes/heart-attacks that occur in a day then there might be an explanation for it all.

    We get a lot of sirens near our flat... we live on a junction with Ealing Hospital to the west, Hammersmith to the East, Charing Cross to the south and Central Middlesex to the North. As a result, we get sirens all the time. It's very rarely police, though...

  17. @Grumpy

    I was only counting the police as I was watching them from my prime bush green position. I don't mind the fire brigade and ambulances as I don't see them as much not do I see them abuse their sirens.
    I agree with you regarding the hospitals and the bush location though and appreciate that its not all local but sometimes just the fact that we live in one of West London's corridors.

  18. MG - that is a really deeply unpleasant comment... why do you bother reading this blog, let alone posting comments, if you think that?

  19. @grumpy

    To be honest i couldn't care less what the Chronicle stands for, it's a local rag that reports local news. Underwood just likes to have someone or something to complain about, if it's not the Chronicle then it's Thames water, or The Met police keeping residents awake with their helicopter when all they are trying to do is keep W12 residents safe or when news is really slow then it's the Met office because they got the bloody weather wrong again.....
    He seems to me to be a very bitter little man who gets pleasure out of moaning about anyone and anything....

  20. It is a pathetic one-man war against the Chronicle. Trinity Mirror made their position perfectly clear to Media Guardian and other respected media outlets re council advertising, and recent stories show that there is no softening of the reporters' approach to the council.

    Underwood singles out 1 Chronicle reporter, goads him constantly over several months, picking on him until he snaps. It's nothing short of bullying and underwood should be ashamed of himself. Having said that, Adam Courtney over reacted but I understand has now deleted the offending tweets. As a concerned resident, I feel we would be better served if these 2 got along rather than wasting valuable news space on their petty squabbles.

  21. @T

    Because i find this blog to be like one of those crappy soap operas on tv that annoys the hell out of you but you still sit down and watch it every week anyway.

  22. @MG: I generally find that Chris' reporting if fairly unbiased. He's happy to publish comments from all parties, he's actually PRO super-sewer (so on Thames Water's side) and has heavily praised the police on many occasions, including during the riots and after spending a night out working alongside a special team of police officers to see what they do - and was very positive about them. He says lots of lovely things on this blog. How were his comments about Shepherd's Bush festival or his post about the Oxjam thing negative in any way?

    @joaquim: I actually find that the paramedic cars are the worst offenders. They never, ever, ever turn their sirens off like most services - the majority of whom only use them when there is traffic actually preventing them from moving.

  23. All I would say, particularly to "MG", is that Blogger allows me to apply for the IP address of anyone posting abusive messages on here so that I can block them from accessing the site. That would also reveal where their server was located - and which company it was registered to.

    Interestingly there is only one other person that has ever used the phrase "one man war against the Chronicle" and only one person who has ever told me to f off back up north. That person, as MG must know, is one Adam Courtney of the Fulham Chronicle.

    I think you need help.

  24. MG - you probably need to talk through a few issues with a professional if you feel so compelled to read and watch so many things that 'annoy the hell out of you'.

    I've always found Chris to be scrupulously fair in all his reporting despite the fact that I suspect we have almost diametrically opposed political views. This blog is a valuable resource for the neighbourhood... you seem to miss the point.

  25. To hell with the noise and the so called journalists, we must focus on the issue of dangerous driving. It is time the neighbourhood is safe for everyone.

  26. I would love to be able to get upto speeds where there might be a risk to people. As I look out of my window I see zero chance of this...

  27. Chris... I've actually wondered if you look at your stats and see what people are interested in and respond by posting more of the same. Or do you just write what you fancy writing about on any given day?

    Each to their own.. but personally I find there is a little too much about police and there could be more on personal stories about bush businesses and people.

    Anyway you are doing a good job its a pity by doing so you are leaving yourself open to this sort of abuse which quite frankly is a little childish even for me.

  28. To be honest, I used to get this kind of crap when I ran a news website. Partly the bitchiness of people on the internet, partly the bitchiness of politics, I guess...

  29. @Underwood.

    I don't believe i was in anyway abusive towards you, i merely made my feelings known. If you only want people to say nice things and rub your ego then feel free to block me, but that will just cement my original comment of you being pathetic!!

    On the occasions i have met Adam Courtney on a professional basis i have found him to be helpful, respectful and courteous. I have noticed your personal attacks on him over the months and quite frankly I think he has shown great restraint in not snapping a long time ago.

    Quite how my place of work is any business of yours or any of your fluffers is beyond me, but do what ever makes you happy, knock yourself out!!

  30. "I don't believe i was in anyway abusive towards you."


    "Underwood, you're pathetic! ... I for one think that you are a tosser! ... your spuff stained room ... do us all a favor and F-off back up north!!!"

    I wouldn't like to see what you think IS abusive!!

  31. Gross arrogance. In a time of austerity there is no justification for use of this intrusive, sound polluting and hideously expensive boys toy to combat the sort of low level crime exemplified by this deployment.

    Police funds (our money) should be put to better use and the police helicopter permanently grounded. Funny how we can't have air ambulances funded by the state but we can afford to annoy residents of greater London with a police helicopter. It frequently hovers over Kings Cross and makes me wish for a SAM !