Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Night My Street Was Turned into a Crime Zone

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Night My Street Was Turned into a Crime Zone

Article excerpt

Byline: WILL SELF

I'VE lived in this little quarter of Stockwell for a decade now and, while when I talk to middle-class friends they automatically assume the worst, the truth is the atmosphere is neighbourly.

It's certainly a mixed area: one side of my road is large, handsome mid- Victorian terraced houses, the other low-rise council blocks.

Some of the council block is privately owned, some of the houses are housing association. Others are occupied by upper middle-class families.

There have been mini-crime waves over the past few years, when one halfgeneration of teenagers comes of carwindow-smashing age. And yes, there's the drug-dealing in the alleyway and the stolen and torched mopeds on the estate.

But as I say: this is the inner city, you accept these things.

However, when the lights began flashing along my road last night, and the crime scene tape began to be unwound, and I began to realise that a local kid had been stabbed to death within 20 yards of my front door, well, I have to say that my sense of the place where I live did become tangibly darker. …

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