I got two emails last week, each worrying in their own way.
The first was from Chris, who witnessed an unreported-by-the-press (so far, anyway, I don’t get the free papers so I haven’t been able to check since Friday) incident in the foot tunnel last Monday:
“About forty 14 year-olds running through the tunnel south to north with bats, sticks, chains and belts on Monday night. Police presence now upped in the tunnel space, as it was reported the kids threatened commuters in addition to beating up some other kid.”
The second was from Frank who has more of a question:
“I’ve recently started to notice ‘Greenwich Council Wardens’ walking around (usually in twos and threes). They manage to look quite intimidating, in particular they are mostly well built, wear police-style jackets but with no markings on the front or arms and it is only when they turn round that you can see their title. They have no personal identifiers/numbers.
There may be something on the council website but I couldn’t easily find it. So what are they? What do they do? What are their powers? Can they detain you? How much do they cost?”
There seems to be some sort of link between these two, but I’m not sure what it is. I don’t know what these wardens are – or, indeed, what their powers might be, but I’m guessing they’re not equipped to deal with the kind of thing that Chris saw, which sounds like a serious police issue.
This begs the question of what exactly they are for – if they’re going around in gangs of three, it surely can’t be to report fly-tipping or people throwing their cigarette butts on the ground.
Greenwich, especially the town centre of a weekend evening, seems to be becoming a lot more scary recently (though I still maintain we’re generally pretty safe round here in comparison to most of London…) and much seems to go unreported in the press – I witnessed quite a major incident myself a couple of years ago that went completely under the radar.
The strange thing is that we seem to be flooded with security – we’re told Britain has the most CCTV cameras in the world – and yet could we find poor Josh Beasley in 2007? (I find myself thinking of him, his family and those devoted friends of his at this time of year…)
Or discover exactly what happened to Arianna, whose ghost bike still stands at the flyover on Woolwich Road? (BTW there is a case going through the courts at the moment regarding this – I can’t help feeling that some CCTV footage would make the prosecution stronger. I can’t see any CCTV at all on that roundabout – one of the most dangerous around. Hell – I’ve had an accident there myself, and I know others have, too…)
And these ‘Council Wardens’ – about whom I know nothing. I would appreciate enlightenment on their roles too.
I appreciate that this isn’t the most coherant post I’ve ever written. Maybe I’m putting together thoughts that don’t go. To me, there is some kind of link between the two incidents – it’s just my brain on a Monday morning can’t process it…