Quadruple stabbing: Elmington residents say they’re policing their own estate and desperately need more CCTV

Katherine Johnston (23 August, 2018) Crime

There are just four cameras on the whole estate

24496Photo (c) Lisa Lynch

Elmington Estate residents say they have to police their own estate and desperately need more CCTV after last week’s horrific quadruple teen stabbing.

Four teenage boys, all under the age of sixteen, were found outside Landor House suffering from stab wounds last Thursday, August 19, at 5.24pm.

Two victims are still in hospital and are said to be ‘stable’, and the other two have already been discharged.

On Friday, the Met confirmed a fifteen-year-old youth had been charged with possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis, and bailed to appear at Camberwell Youth Court on September 5.

Five other males who were arrested, all aged between 15 and 16, were bailed to return to a south London police station in mid-September.

Stop and search powers were put in place on three separate occasions throughout the weekend, and extra officers from the violent crime task force and territorial support group were also drafted as backup.

Elmington TRA chair, Val Fenn, said she felt like she was “banging my head against a brick wall” trying to stop the situation escalating  further out of control, but was struggling to get young people involved in the community.

Although Elmington TRA hall is open, the Poets Corner hall in Landor House, next to where Thursday’s victims were found, is currently not in use.

Last week Mrs Fenn wrote to police on behalf of Elmington residents pleading for new CCTV cameras to be installed, more police officers put on the beat, and estate wardens to be brought in to help put a stop to antisocial behaviour and prevent violent crime.

There are four CCTV cameras on the Elmington, but many areas are still blind spots.

Although she praised local officers and councillors for their help, she said she was frustrated by the lack of resources, telling the News: “We are desperate. We are the police’s eyes and ears, but they can’t expect tenants to go round and do everything.

“We need someone to come in and work with us to get young people involved – we could prevent a lot of what is happening if we have more support.”

Meanwhile, as the News reported in July, the chair of Camberwell Green ward’s safer neighbourhood panel, Mark Webb, has had to find the money to fund specialist equipment to help rid estates of hidden weapons.

He was told the police do not have the budget for extra-strong torches, metal detectors, and telescopic detection mirrors – despite 35 weapons being recovered in June this year alone, hidden in places like drains, door panels, bushes, and even lift shafts.

Worryingly, the News understands that the football pitch next to the estate is a well-known hangout for drill rap group Moscow17, based on the Brandon and Crawford Estate.

The gang is currently locked into a tit-for-tat battle with Peckham’s Zone 2, although police have not confirmed whether last week’s quadruple stabbing is linked to a gang dispute.

Angry residents on the Brandon Estate, where Rhyhiem Barton and Siddique Kamara were both killed, have also lobbied for more CCTV and help re-opening run-down community spaces.

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for community safety and public health at Southwark Council told the News: “The council is working closely with police and we have met with residents of the Brandon Estate to review CCTV provision.

“These meetings have led to the repositioning of permanent CCTV on the estate as well as the addition of redeployable cameras in areas of concern.

“We are set to meet with local police colleagues and residents on the Elmington Estate in order to review existing CCTV in the area.

“We will continue to work with police, partners and residents in Southwark in order to support the prevention and detection of Crime and ASB within the borough.”

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