New Dulwich Police Base

Boris Johnson our conservative Mayor of London closure of East Dulwich Police station in June 2013 without a suitable replacement has been a disaster for local Policing.

By the local Police management own admission at a Dulwich Community Council meeting our local Police now spend a third of their time traveling to and from our areas from their base in Camberwell.

To solve this problem local East Dulwich councillors and Dulwich Lib Dems have been campaigning for a new base for Police enabling our Police to minimise time away form our ares. Ideally a Police base but any base that they can work from. WE also need such a base for the general public to be able to meet our police to report crimes and issues in privacy.

After working behind the scenes for nearly a year Cllr Rosie Shimell and myself have formally proposed that the Dulwich Library annexe be used for this purpose. We have found budgets we allocate that could fund this. I’m hopeful that Southwark Police and Council will agree to this solution to our dire need for a local touch down based for Dulwich Police and residents.

Do you agree we need such a base?


Paedophilia Iceberg

Reflecting on the appalling Rotherham long-term child abuse, Jimmy Saville decades of abuse, many other public figures accused of casual child and other abuse, child abuse rings uncovered in Derby, Oxford, Rochdale, Telford and this week a paediatric haematologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital convicted of child abuse. Other systemic appearing abuse from religious leaders. The scale of child and adult abuse is colossal but increasingly what we’ve become aware of appears just the tip of the iceberg.

It is clear that for decades child abuse was ignored and covered up country wide. That suspicions were ignored. Victims ignored and worse – often the victims punished.

A number of separate enquiries have taken place essentially showing at best complacency on epic scales.

I’ve had a casework involving historic abuse and the police dealt with it sensitively and promptly.

We need every local authority and public body needs to assume that such abuse has occurred until they prove differently. We need to assume every public body is guilty of harbouring this historically. That every such body needs a systemic review of all the people ever in their charge confirming they didn’t receive abuse. That all Police reports need to be trawled to assess which ones abuse was not recorded but lesser crimes if any recorded and wrong police reports corrected and investigated where the victims wish this.

When we’ve purged our society of historic abuse and ensured all new allegations are properly investigated will we be truly fair and just society.

If you believe abuse is or has taken place whether you’re an adult or child get advice from the NSPCC   0808 800 5000, or text 88858.

Fighting Crime

One of our priorities in East Dulwich has been fighting crime through crime prevention.

We’ve invest a huge proportion of the devolved capital budgets and create a crime prevention fund.

So what have we done to help prevent crime:

175 Alertboxes connecting businesses together so they can help each other out when in trouble.

2,500 residential SelectaDNA property marking kits. Huge deterrent and great for helping to convict burglars.

50 large premise SelectDNA property marking kits.

Gating alleyways to make them more secure- 2 on North Cross Road, Ashbourne Grove, Shawbury Road.

Ensured all street lighting has been modernised.

Laser speed camera and mobile traffic calming message board.

Police metal detectors and other essential kit for them.


What other measures do you think we could take to prevent crime?



Jimmy Savile Tragic Southwark Involvement

The Secretary of State for the Department for Education has received information that children at 21 children’s homes and schools may have been abused by Jimmy Savile. He has initiated work to have these cliams investigated thoroughly.

Child abuse scars peoples whole lives. I dont think it’s something that truly goes away from people. They just learn to manage and hide their feelings. It can lead to self harm and suicide and feelings of self-loathing. Truly awful thing to happen to anyone.

Southwark Council had a children’s home called the Hollies in Sidcup between 1965 and 1989 ans this is one of the 21 to be investigated.

If you were at the Hollies and experienced anything untoward please call the NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or email for help and advice. It’s crucial lessons are learnt from the disaster that Jimmy Savile has been found to have been.

Fingers crossed the investigation by Southwark will quickly reach a thorough conclusion for all the now adults who could have been affected.

Well meaning Police?

26 June 2013 Boris closed the East Dulwich Police Station. This brought to an end our 10+ years campaign to save it. We stopped Labour Ken and Val Shawcross closing it. But Boris within weeks of promising not to close it and many other police station did the most massive U-turn.

The Met Police have used these closures to undertake a massive centralisation programme. We no longer have a dedicated team of 8 Police officers based in East Dulwich sharing cover with a similar team for Village ward. It worked well. Instead they’ve amalgamated 5 such teams and based them in Camberwell.

At last week’s Dulwich Community Council the Inspector in charge presented findings from a rudimentary time and motion study.

It showed:

–          16% of officer time is now wasted spent travelling, when assigned to Dulwich work, between Dulwich and Camberwell.

–          16% equates to the loss of 4 police officers from College, Village and East Dulwich wards combined – half a Safer Neighbourhood Team.

–          Reported crime down – roughly by the amount of crime previously reported at the East Dulwich Police station.

We’ve also stopped having regular meetings with police officers in each ward to tell them what residents and businesses are concerned about.

My experiences of Southwark and Met Police is that they could do with some real operational expertise applied to properly plan how they operate. It currently looks and feels as well meaning at best.

Southwark 20mph

Southwark is introducing 20mph speed limit on all roads except those controlled by TfL or the Dulwich Estate.

This has been a long time coming with the strategy agreed when Lib Dems led the council. Richard Thomas was the lead councillor on this years back.

But not much point making our roads 20mph without any enforcement.

The Association of Chief Police Officers have announced a course option for motorists exceeding 20mph as an alternative to a fine and or points on driving licences. The course would be for motorists travelling 24-31mph.
Avon and Somerset Police are the first ti pilot this course.

We need to persuade our Met Police in Southwark to also take this approach.

Do you agree most roads should be 20mph in Southwark?

ED Changes for 2014/15

Every year local ward councillors get to decide how to spend some devolved Cleaner, Greener, Safer budget. The scheme started when Lib Dems first led the council in 2002 with only one year when it didn’t operate when the Labour administration wanted to use the money on pet Olympic projects.

I’m particularly excited by the prospect of improving the junction of North Cross Road with Lordship Lane. It’s one of our crash hot spots, doesn’t work well when closed for the street market on Saturdays. The Bike hangars will be a great experiment to see if they can work locally in East Dulwich – fingers crossed. And lastly trialling the Dulwich Hospital phlebotomy service on Saturdays. IT should really make it much easier for people to have blood tests outside of normal work hours and provide a real alternative to being at the hospital before 7am weekdays.

This year East Dulwich councillors have decided to allocate the following:

CGS capital:

–          ED Crime Prevention fund £10,000

–          ED street trees £10,000

–          Lordship Lane secure derelict property £4,500

–          Chesterfield £6,000 for upgrading street lighting to white light, £4,000 for pavement tree pit upgrading.

–          Bike hangars – fund 2 to be decided where most popular by residents £10,000

–          East Dulwich Community Centre (EDCC) children garden area materials £524

–          Bassano Street gating £2,000

–          Dawson Heights tree planting £1,000

–          Upgrade junction of NCR/LL £50,000

–          ED public Automated Emergency Defibrillators £5,000

–          Historic photos project £4,500

Total £112,524


CGS revenue:

–          Give and take EDCC events £1,500

–          Goose Green nursery improvements £1,400

–          EDCC gardening £700

–          WW2 plaques across Dulwich £667

–          Street cleaning machine extra half-time employee £11,605

–          Saturday Dulwich Hospital blood testing trial x 26 weeks (as per separate email) £20,000

Total £35,872

ED Crash Reduction Scheme

Police covering our area are leading a scheme to reduce road casualties.

One part is recruiting local resident volunteers to:

–          Conduct speed checks using hand-held speed cameras

–          Speed surveys

–          Collate and report registration of speeding motorists for Police action.

These are non-confrontational, non-enforcement roles and full training will be given. Completely flexible commitment.

If you’d like to help fight local speeding contact Sergeant Stewart Turnbull on 020 8721 2447


It has been reported that one of the coalition minister Tory Eric Pickles wishes to relax parking restrictions. He fear local authorities are “anti-car”.

We’ve had our own local issues around Lordship Lane and the bus lanes being zealously enforced but what would happen if Mr.Pickles had his way?

Through a weird quirk of fate an full scale experiment along the dogmatic lines Mr.Pickles proposes has taken place in Aberystwyth.

Due to a mix=up between the police and Aberystwyth local authority they’ve had no parking enforcement for exactly 12 month.

These extracts from 1 June Daily Mail describe the chaos Mr.Pickles wishes up the rest of the country…

“For the last 12 months, citizens have been free to park wherever they please, without fear of prosecution. And any faith in human nature, that people might act responsibly and observe the restrictions anyway, is quickly dispelled by a visit to the town. Forget Armageddon – this is Carmageddon. Everywhere you look there are cars parking where they shouldn’t be: on single yellows, on double yellows, next to bus stops, on pavements , and – most brazenly of all – in just about every disabled parking space available.”

“As the residents of Aberystwyth are discovering, the iron is that when,  in theory you can park anywhere, you can’t in reality find anywhere to park.”

“With allocated loading bays being blocked by family saloon, frustrated delivery drivers are simply stopping their lorries in the middle of the street with queues of he-up motorists honking in frustration and demanding to know when they will be moving on.”

Teen Rapists?

A study by Emma Fulu funded by a UN programme to tackle gender based violence has delved into the causes of male sexual violence in some countries. Sadly the UK wasnt one of the countries.

Overall the study showed that 58% of thgose who raped started while in their teens. This tells us that the potential to divert and stop rapists exists in childhood and education programmes could target this issue.

What we need now is such a study in the UK and South London.