Doing the Hackney Two Step – Why can’t the police speak plain language

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A crappy photo of one of the entrances to Millfields park.

In Texas, there is a dance called the Texas Two Step, quite a jaunty quick country/western music stepping jig, usually danced to country music (what else). Hackney has it’s own version, but it’s not on the dance floor.

Recently it was reported that people cutting through North Millfields Park as a way of getting from Leabridge Rd, were being targeted by muggers. First brought up by Millfields Park Blog here and followed up by Hackney Hive who again reported here.

Leabridge ward Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) are reluctant to say anything, although one of them confirmed it. A local councillor (Cllr Rathbone) preferred it wouldn’t be mentioned and stated: “I did wonder if it was just a hearsay episode as the police usually alert councillors to such problems. I think it is important that this correction goes out as the previous statement tends to blight the area and panic people unnecessarily”.

A comment was left on Hackney Hive by an E5 resident, “My flatmate and my neighbour were both mugged as separate incidents in the last few days, coming down Lea Bridge Road towards the park going onto Harry Zeitel Way. Be on your guard, one very early evening and one in the early hours.”

Yet the jig continues. The latest from Leabridge SNT is: “On checking crime allegations for Leabridge Ward there no recorded offences of robbery shown as occurring in North Millfields Park in December. There are however robbery offences recorded as having occurred in the Leabridge Ward which are in the process of being investigated. This includes the North area of the ward which is situated to the North of Leabridge Road.”

I’m getting the feeling some people aren’t bothering to report the muggings and after my recent experiences, I can understand why. I also feel those in charge will rather it goes away.  Remember it was the good councillor who said “I think it is important that this correction goes out as the previous statement tends to blight the area and panic people unnecessarily”

It wasn’t that long ago Clapton was part of  the notorious ‘Murder Mile’ but it seems to have done well in cleaning up it’s image and on the way to becoming a very desirable place to live and do business, with a string of ‘refined’ outlets mainly eateries (some teetering towards being poncy). The area around Chatsworth Road is being revitalized with Chatsworth Road being the main drag and Big Daddy. BTW, can I highly recommend Chatsworth Kitchen on Chatsworth Road, for the best home-style meals in E5. It’s been described as a “modern British dinner”. Oh and you can bring your own booze.

Crime appears to has been down or at least they aren’t shooting or stabbing each other as often and we don’t see as many of those yellow incident boards I remember seeing, when I first moved back to this country in 2004. I have my own theory for the decrease in yellow incident boards, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry, but it does leave me wondering if all this two stepping has anything to do with the revitalization of the area and the Olympics. It would be nice if people were given a straight answer and warned.

Still, you have to pity those people living in Bristol following poor Jo Yeates murder and the conflicting messages they are getting from the police.

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