this report into the gangs of Northern Croydon. It would seem that things haven't improved in the slightest, and in fact they've gotten worse. When I was back for the weekend last year (the happiest weekend of my life) I was very wary of what was going on around me, what was being said, who was saying it, why they were saying it, how they were saying it, and what it could lead to. As we walked to an off licence late one night, I became aware of someone walking behind us. I pulled TDT to one side, and let the walker overtake us, purely because I was suspicious. Nothing happened, but I think that even having to be wary of this is not a good thing.
Unfortunately, back in the 80s, it was more a case of a minority taking opportunities to steal from innocent members of the public. If you were walking alone, late at night, along a quiet road, you were more likely to be mugged than if you were walking with friends (ideally armed police), along a motorway, with cctv following your every move, then you would less likely be picked out for opportunism and you'd get home with your wallet and limbs still in tact. Don't get me wrong, sometimes even this wasn't the case, and I remember walking home late one Saturday night from the bus stop, only to be accosted by 2 blokes who wanted the contents of my pockets. Knife crime wasn't common then, and certainly gun crime was a non-starter, so I defended myself. The would be mugger went home minus some front teeth and his tail between his legs. But, today with the way things are and if the same happened again, I would have given him my wallet, keys, deeds to my house and self dignity on the condition he didn't shoot me.
The reality is as stark as it would appear. The Police have taken the opinion that the area is a "dead loss." You aren't going to catch who did it, for the simple reason you would have no witnesses, no evidence, no modus operandi, and no case. So, in the meantime, it just gets worse and worse. John Carpenter had a real inspiration when he wrote "Escape from New York." Taking this area, walling it off and leaving them to all kill each other would possibly be a good idea. I can see it now. Escape from Upper Norwood.
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