- Tower Hamlets
Crime in Lewisham is down by 8.6% since last year according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police today, the largest drop in all the London boroughs.
While gun crime, hate crime and non-residential burglary have risen, offences including domestic violence, car crime and muggings have dropped. Overall the number of crimes reported in the borough totaled 1,993, down from 2,193 in 2011.
To see if people felt any safer, ELL spoke to some local residents. Despite the reported drop in crime rates, the opinion of many is that little has changed.
Liz Neurni, 49, professional dog walker from New Cross said: “I used to see more police presence on the estate. Efforts are being made and you feel safer on the train. The new trains are brilliant. You can see from one side to the other. My husband Tony was attacked seven or eight years ago. He was hit round the head with a baseball bat on our road at half past five on a Sunday afternoon. It definitely changes how you behave when something like that happens so close to home. We don’t go out at night.”
William Kaseba, 50, a Sainsbury’s New Cross employee said: “In the eighties and nineties it was worse – there would be muggings in broad daylight. Now if you’re walking in a dark alleyway it might be dangerous but in public it’s much better.”
Damian Smith, 35, father of one from Deptford said: “I don’t really feel unsafe around here, but there’s a huge population of kids that get shot. That’s never really changed. I feel as safe as you can be. You can see the joblessness around, you can see that a lot of the youths, if they had jobs they wouldn’t be doing this.”
Holly O’Leary, 27, who has lived in Lewisham for seven years said that her only worry is having her bike stolen: “If you leave your bike out, it’ll get nicked. It’s happened to me a couple of times before but nothing other than that. I feel totally safe. It’s all about how you carry yourself!”
Yusuf Bektas, the owner of Alanya Steak & Kebab on New Cross Road, said: ‘In the ‘80s and ‘90s there was a lot of trouble here after midnight. There used to be a nightclub here, another one down the road. Since those clubs have closed down, it’s gone quiet again, but now it’s all youngsters in gangs’.
Deniz Mehmed, 48, owner of Henry & Son Hairstylist in New Cross said: “It does appear that there is a day and a night shift around here…It’s not exactly the Michael Jackson Thriller video, but at night there are a different type of people here.”