Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fake banknotes.

The photo above was taken by Maggot Sandwich reader Shane, who took the shot last Monday evening at around 7pm - click on the image for a larger view. Police had closed off the junction of West Street and Walnut Tree Road in Erith after an incident. You can see an Erith bound single deck 469 bus stopped on its journey from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, along with an ambulance and a Police van. Unfortunately neither Shane nor I have been able to uncover exactly what had happened, in what seemed to be a rather serious incident. If you have any information about the events that transpired last Monday evening, please drop me a line to - any information can be treated in the strictest confidence, should you so desire. 

Last Saturday I helped out at the annual All Saint's Church Summer Fete in Upper Belvedere. The event, which had a VE day anniversary theme, was very well attended. A lot of people give up their spare time to help run events of this nature; to my mind it shows how community spirit is far from dead, despite what some commentators say. I was helping run a stall selling home made cakes (I hasten to add, not made by me!) and business was very brisk indeed. Nearly all of the cakes had sold out in just over an hour, and we were able to close the stall early, in time to count the takings. As is the nature of small community fairs, all of the transactions are carried out with cash. It was only the day after the fair that it was discovered that a substantial proportion of the takings were composed of counterfeit bank notes - specifically fake £20 notes. It subsequently became apparent that the volunteer led fund raising event had been specifically targetted by one or more persons in order to launder the fake bank notes onto unsuspecting targets. I am aware that much has been said regarding this issue on FaceBook and other forms of social media. One point I would like to address is the recurring comments made by people that "you should use a fake banknote detecting pen to stop taking fakes". The fake note detecting pens containing a clear reagent which, if dabbed on the corner of a fake note will turn dark blue or black. It works by detecting starch in the fake bank note paper. Real paper notes have little if any starch, and thus do not trigger the reagent to change colour. Unfortunately the criminals are one step ahead of this; they are aware the paper they use in the fake notes will not pass the chemical test, so what they do is they cover the fake notes with women's hair spray - this contains a very fine lacquer which coats the fake notes and seals them against the reagent chemical - and they do not trigger the colour changing reaction, and thus get passed as genuine. What the criminals who targetted the All Saints fair were counting on was how busy all of the stall holders were - the high number of cash transactions meant that the opportunity to examine any bank note was minimal at best. Such events operate almost exclusively by goodwill - both from the volunteers that organise and run the fairs, and from the visitors who turn up and participate in them. Such goodwill can easily be lost when criminals act to exploit what they see as a soft target. 

Every local radio station set up in the Bexley area has historically closed down through a lack of both money and listeners. The original community radio station Radio Thamesmead, which originally broadcast by cable from its’ studios in Tavy Bridge (now demolished) later metamorphosed into RTM Radio in 1990, when it got itself a FM broadcast licence on 103.8 MHz. It was very much a community centred station, and any profits generated were ploughed back into projects to benefit the local area. It ran successfully for nearly ten years, until in 1999 it was successful in an application to the Radio Authority to change its’ remit and become a fully commercial operation. When this was permitted, the station changed its’ name to Millennium 106.8 FM in the year 2000. This name was again changed in 2003 to Time FM (not to be confused with the excellent, Romford based Time 107.5 FM which is a successful and ongoing broadcasting business today), in an attempt to try and forge a link with the Greenwich Meridian, and to strengthen its’ local identity. Shortly thereafter the station was purchased by the Sunrise Radio group, and was run by them until 2009. The stations’ audience ratings were never that good, though it did have a small, but dedicated following. In its’ final year, the audience had shrunk to just 13,000 people – less than one percent of the listening audience for the area. Sunrise put Time FM up for sale, famously putting an advert on the station’s website before any staff knew about it. No buyer was found, and the station closed for good in April 2009. Time FM was not alone in being a local radio broadcaster – there was a second contender, which actually had studios in Erith, based on the Europa Industrial Estate in Fraser Road. This was a station called TGR Sound 103.7 FM. It was a volunteer run, not for profit station that went on air back in November 2006 and set out to provide community information and news, as well as both mainstream and specialist music programming. When it initially started, it was Internet only, but soon got an FM broadcast licence. To say the station was homespun would probably be probably under – describing it. There were many occasions when I would tune in and be able to hear a conversation going on in the studio, as the presenter had forgotten to switch the microphone off whilst they were in the middle of playing a track.  Bearing in mind part of their mission statement was to train future presenters, a certain degree of mistakes were I suppose to be expected, but it did seem that things went wrong with depressing regularity – it was as if there was no supervision of inexperienced presentation staff. Coming from my own historical background in radio, it was very easy to work out what was going wrong and when, and it made for occasionally painful listening. TGR stood for Thames Gateway Radio, although some local wag soon called it Totally Godawful Radio. It was designed to be a community resource, not a commercially viable radio station. It was funded from a mixture of government and GLA grants. Once the recession began to bite, the funding soon dried up and TGR Sound was forced to close down. I am always supportive of local enterprises, but TGR Sound was really not very good at all, and it never really succeeded in finding an audience – I doubt that many people in the London Borough of Bexley even realised that it existed, and if they did come across it whilst tuning around the FM radio dial, they probably thought that it was a particularly inept pirate. Things are different nowadays – the number of amateur / hobby stations that broadcast online is huge and extremely varied. A potential listener can be spoiled for choice. The history of local community based radio does not read well. Every station that has been set up in the area has ended up closing through lack of money. A new community based radio station will be starting in Thamesmead in October; currently the station does not have a name. The station has published the following announcement online:- "Artist and producer Sam Skinner has been invited by TACO! to develop a new radio station for Thamesmead. A pilot for the radio station will go live on air in October 2018 for a period of 28 days. We’ll be turning TACO! Into a live radio station, broadcasting a programme of local talent, music, artists, interviews, local history and more. For 28 days the station will broadcast on a temporary FM/MW licence and online through a dedicated website. This pilot project will aim to test and refine the radio platform with a view to continuing the station as an online community broadcasting platform for Thamesmead. From July 2018 onwards TACO will be offering training in broadcast and music production by professionals from the world of radio to people who want to get involved in the running of the station or make a radio programme. If you want to learn new skills in sound recording, mixing, radio production or get feedback on your programme ideas then get in touch at Further detail will be announced via our website and mailing list. We’re also looking for motivated and passionate people to join the Radio project steering group. Consisting of various people from different backgrounds the group will help develop the ideas and thinking behind the radio station and its future potential. If you are interested in being involved please get in touch. Write to us at and let us know what you're interested in contributing or join our mailing list to receive further updates and information about the project". From the details currently available, it sounds like the station management are taking the sensible approach of initially applying for a 28 day RSL (Restricted Service Licence) rather than going the whole hog with a far more expensive full time licence. They will face some competition, especially in the South Western part of their predicted coverage area, as another community station is shortly to come on air. Maritime Radio, which will be based in the Shrewsbury House former community centre on Shooter's Hill is to to start broadcasting on the first of September with a full time, permanent OFCOM licence. It will be an interesting and instructive time to see how the two new broadcasters manage in what is a very challenging market. I wish both of them well, and will be writing in more detail about them both in the near future. The broadcast world has certainly changed since I was involved in radio.

News broke at the beginning of last week that the McDonald's franchise in James Watt Way, Erith, had lodged an application to extend its (already in my opinion too long) opening hours to make it a 24/7 operation.  This has brought immediate protests. If they were to succeed in their application, there would be a constant stream of drunks, druggies, violent criminals and all sorts of anti social undesirables brought into what is a fundamentally residential area. You may think I am over - reacting, but if one looks at what has happened to the nearby existing 24/7 fast food drive through - the McDonald's at Plumstead, which is in a far more suitable location (opposite the Plumstead Bus Garage, next to the Post Office sorting office, and well away from any residential housing), they have had to employ around the clock security guards due to constant problems of alcohol and drug related violence, anti social behaviour and all sorts of other associated criminality. What makes the situation in Manor Road even worse is that the McDonald's is directly opposite a KFC Drive Through. If the McDonald's  succeeds, the KFC will be forced to also open 24/7 in order to compete. The McDonald's backs directly onto the Compton Place housing estate - and I am sure that local residents will have a lot to say on the subject. The KFC itself is directly opposite the block of flats on what used to be the site of Erith Odeon (a grade II* listed Art Deco building that was illegally demolished by the developers of the current flats). It also backs onto the Moat House affordable housing apartments. Both outlets are very close to the Sherwood House sheltered housing scheme, which is the home for many elderly, frail and vulnerable people. Apart from the concerns already mentioned, there is apparently a history of burglars parking vans in drive through restaurant car parks, before the occupants go off to burgle nearby houses. An unusual van parked in a street or cul de sac attracts attention from the neighbours, but a van parked in a drive through car park does not, thus enabling them to break into a number of houses, then bring their stolen booty back to the van before making another sortie, undisturbed. I am also led to understand that both the McDonald's and KFC car parks are also used to conduct drug deals from time to time. If you have strong feelings about the matter, it is possible to log an online complaint by clicking on this link to the Bexley Council Licencing Complaints Website. Readers with long memories may recall that the Manor Road KFC tried to open 24/7 back in February 2014, to a storm of local protest - so strong that the KFC franchise owners voluntarily withdrew the application when they realised the strength of local opposition. If McDonald's get permission to open around the clock, it is only logical that the KFC would try and do the same. Both local fast food outlets have long standing reputations for being the focus for anti social behaviour and criminality, and extending their opening hours would be an open invitation for an increase in undesirable behaviour.

Last week I wrote about the HMT Empire Windrush seventieth anniversary, which is being celebrated this weekend by a series of events both locally, and around the country. What I did not realise at the time was that I have a family connection with the Empire Windrush, albeit a little on the tenuous side. After the Empire Windrush made its historic journey to Tilbury, carrying British citizens of Caribbean origin, along with passengers from very diverse backgrounds, the story of which has rather become lost. The actual passenger list from June 1948 included The ship docked at the Port of Tilbury, on 21 June 1948, and the 1027 passengers began disembarking the next day. A commonly given figure for the number of West Indian immigrants on board is 492, based understandably on news reports in the media at the time, which variously announced that "more than 400", Jamaican men had arrived in Britain. However, the ship's records, kept in the United Kingdom National Archives indicate conclusively that 802 passengers gave their last place of residence as a country in the Caribbean. The ship also carried 66 people whose last country of residence was Mexico - they were a group of Polish people who had travelled from Siberia via India and the Pacific, and who had been granted permission to settle in the United Kingdom under the terms of the Polish Resettlement Act 1947. They had been among a group of Polish people who had been living in Mexico since 1943 and the Windrush had called at Tampico, Mexico in order to pick them up. Of the other passengers, 119 were from England and 40 from other parts of the world. The disembarkation of Windrush's passengers was a notable news event, and was covered by newspaper reporters and by Pathé News newsreel cameras. The name Windrush as a result come to be used as shorthand for West Indian migration, and by extension for the beginning of modern British multiracial society. The Empire Windrush was built in Germany in 1930, when it was called the Monte Rosa; unusually it was fitted with four-stroke diesel engines driving two propellers. At the time, the use of diesel engines was highly unusual in ships of this size, which would have been typically steam-powered, and their use reflected the experience ship builders Blohm and Voss had gained by building Diesel-powered U-boats during World War 1. Their top speed was 14 knots (26 km/h) (around half the speed of the large trans-Atlantic Ocean liners of the era) but this was considered adequate for both the immigrant and cruise business, and the diesel engines were substantially cheaper to operate. These early diesel engines were a constant source of problems, as they were under developed and mechanically unreliable - something that would eventually lead to the ships' fate. After World War II, the Monte Rosa was transferred to British ownership under the war reparations act, and then renamed the Empire Windrush. The ship made its last voyage in February 1954, and this is where my tenuous family connection comes in. Windrush set off from Yokohama, Japan, in February 1954 on what proved to be her final voyage. She called at Kure and was to sail to the United Kingdom, calling at Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombo, Aden and Port Said. Her passengers including recovering wounded United Nations veterans of the Korean War, some soldiers from The Duke of Wellington's Regiment wounded at the Third Battle of the Hook in May 1953. However, the voyage was plagued with gearbox and engine breakdowns amongst other defects, and it took ten weeks to reach Port Said, from where the ship sailed for the last time. On board were 222 crew and 1276 passengers, including military personnel and some women and children, dependents of some of the military personnel. At around 6:15am on Sunday March 28, there was a sudden explosion and fierce fire in the engine-room that killed the Third Engineer, two other members of the engine-room crew and the First Electrician; a fifth crew-member in the engine room and one in the boiler-room, both Greasers, managed to escape. The ship quickly lost all electrical power as the four main electrical generators were located in the burning engine room; the back-up generator was started, but problems with the main circuit-breaker made its power unusable. The ship did not have a sprinkler system. The Chief officer heard the explosion from the ship's bridge and assembled the ship's fire-fighting squad, who happened to be on deck at the time doing routine work. However they were only able to fight the fire for a few minutes before the loss of electrical power stopped the water pumps that fed their fire-hoses. The Second Engineer was able to enter the engine room by wearing a smoke hood, but was unable to close a water-tight door that might have contained the fire, due to a lack of electrical power. Attempts to close all water-tight doors using the controls on the bridge had also failed. At 6:23am, the first distress calls were transmitted; further SOS calls used the emergency radio transmitter as electrical power had been lost. The order was given to wake the passengers and crew and assemble them at their emergency stations, but the ship's public address system was not working, nor were its air and steam whistles, so the order had to be transmitted by word-of-mouth. At 6:45am, all attempts to fight the fire were halted and the order was given to launch the lifeboats, with the first ones away carrying the women and children on-board. While the ship's 22 lifeboats could accommodate all on board, thick smoke and the lack of electrical power prevented many of them from being launched. Each set of lifeboat davits accommodated two lifeboats and without electrical power, raising the wire ropes to lower the second boat was an arduous and slow task. With fire spreading rapidly, the order was given to drop the remaining boats into the sea. Many of the crew and troops on board abandoned the ship by climbing down ladders or ropes and jumping into the sea. However, they were quickly picked up by Windrush's lifeboats and also by a boat from the first rescue ship, which reached the scene at 7.00am. The ships responding to Windrush's distress call were the Dutch ship MV Mentor, the British P and O Cargo liner MV Socotra, the Norwegian ship SS Hemsefjell and the Italian ships SS Taigete and SS Helschell. The last person to leave Windrush was the Chief officer at 7:30am. All the passengers were saved and the only fatalities were the four crew killed in the engine room. Around 26 hours after Windrush had been abandoned, she was reached by HMS Saintes of the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet - my Mother's cousin Ralph was a member of the crew of HMS Saintes at the time, and he kindly supplied the photographs of the burning Windrush and some of the crew involved in the tow above, which to my knowledge have never been published before. The fire was still burning fiercely more than a day after it started, but a party from HMS Saintes managed to get on board Windrush and attach a tow-cable. HMS Saintes attempted to tow the ship to Gibraltar but Empire Windrush sank in the early hours of the following morning, Tuesday, 30 March 1954 after been towed a distance of only around 16 kilometres (8.6 nautical miles). The wreck lies at a depth of around 2,600 metres (8,500 ft).

Now for the weekly local safety and security news from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly an announcement of a new, Borough - wide scheme:- "Bexley Council are looking to see untidy gardens sorted across the borough. The Neater Neighbourhoods team are requesting that if you have any homes in your area that have gardens full of rubbish, old furniture or that are just overgrown if you could report it to them and they will pursue it further. Often it can be because there is a reason for the overgrown garden such as an elderly person who is unable to cut hedges and grass and the Neater Team will arrange for a local voluntary group such as Evergreen to help. Residents who refuse to clean up can face enforcement action though. If you like the idea of this scheme and have an address you would like to highlight please email either Sarah Jones or Andrew Johnson or". Barnehurst ward:- "Good news again for Barnehurst as we did not have many crimes. Officers from the Barnehurst team have been conducting patrols in anti Social Behaviour area’s including Hampton House and Defoe Close. Residents had raised concerns regarding ASB in the area’s mentioned above as patrols from the team has reduced ASB in these locations. Residents have praised the team as they feel that both areas have improved. The team will continue to patrols these area’s as well as the rest of the ward. The Barnehurst team also attended Crayford fun day along with the neighbourhood watch team, as several new residents were signed up as neighbourhood watch co coordinators. The team managed to visit little explorers nursery on Barnehurst road which was a great success. As previously mentioned crime was low on the ward however there was a report of theft of number plates from a vehicle which was parked on Eversley Avenue. Please join us for our community contact day on Wednesday 27th June at 1pm at Barnehurst Golf Course. We will discuss any ward issues that you have and we will also provide residents with crime prevention advice". Belvedere ward:- "The team attended the All Saints church fete on Saturday 16th June where we held a crime prevention stall offering advice on a range of topics related to personal safety and home security, preventing vehicle crime and burglary prevention advice. PC Green and PC Holmes were also able to give guided tours of a Police vehicle and younger people had the opportunity to try on Police uniform. We also gave handcuff demonstrations and offered the opportunity for people to have their finger prints taken (these were not kept by the team!). At the weekend response team officers were called to Morvale Close in relation to suspicious activity involving motorcycles that may have been stolen. Officers were able to detain one male at the location with a vehicle which was found to be stolen. The male was arrested and was also found to be in possession of an offensive weapon along with class A and class B drugs. The team also visited Lesness Heath primary school to speak to Year 6 pupils in relation to responsibility and criminality prior to the summer holidays, where we usually see an upturn in low level anti-social behaviour". Bexleyheath ward:- "We are going to hold our next contact session on Tuesday 26th June between 10am and 11am at CafĂ© Nero Bexleyheath. If you can pop along, that would be great. Our last contact session was well attended and we had spoken to around 16 residents about different issues. We have no reports of burglaries or attempted burglaries recently which is very good news. World cup patrols will be taking place and the local alcohol establishments on our ward are working with the Police to deter anti-social behaviour. Regular patrols by the team shall continue after school hours. As a result of this recently we had a few girls detained for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. We have been working closely with the council to address behaviours of youths who repeatedly behave in an anti-social manner, this has resulted in some being banned from certain areas as part of their conditions given to them. We have been conducting high visibility patrols around Martens Grove and surrounding areas including the garages between Grove Road and Braeside Crescent as this is becoming an area for youths to congregate and misbehave. Below is some recent things reported to the Police on our ward: On the 16/06/2018 and 17/06/2018 along Hansol Road we had two vehicles damaged both cars were keyed. Also on the 17/06/2018 a handbag was reported stolen along the Broadway. A large amount of money was reported stolen on the 18/06/2018 along the Broadway, money was taken from victim. A mobile phone was allegedly stolen from on the 19/06/2018 from within Central Library Bexleyheath If you do want to pass on information to Police then please feel free to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111". Crayford ward:- "On Tuesday 12th June at 17.43 a Male was walking out of Martens Grove Park with his dog when he was approached by five youths with their faces covered who told him to hand over his phone. A knife was seen so defended himself to get to safety and the youths ran off. We have increased patrols in this area at this time. On Tuesday 12th June at 23.00 a bus had a window smashed in Crayford Way by The Rise, the suspect made of in an unknown direction. CCTV on and around the bus may identify the perpetrator. The bus had to be taken out of service, necessary as there was broken glass but unfair to the travelling passengers. At 5.15am on Sunday 17th June a dog disturbed suspects who had broken in to a metal shed in a back garden in Crayford Way, a bike and tools were stolen. Also in Crayford Way, overnight between 22.00 on Saturday 16th June and 6.30 on Sunday 17th, another garden shed was broken into, both back on to the River Cray. In the early hours of Tuesday 19th June a yellow Peugeot work van was broken in to in Crayford Way, the alarm was activated and the side door was left open, power tools were stolen from within. On Saturday 16th June at 17.10 in Crayford Road two vehicles were seen acting suspiciously by police. On searching the vehicles the drivers were arrested for drugs offences. On Saturday 16th June between 21.00-23.00 a Yamaha motorcycle which was chained and had steering lock and disc lock on as well as a ground anchor, was stolen from an address in Wyatt Road. On Friday 15th June at 12.00 a vehicle was scratched whilst parked at Tower Retail Park, this was witnessed at the time of report. Police officers issued two tickets to drivers using their mobile phones whilst driving this week. Between 21.00 on Monday 18th June and 18.00 on 19th June a black Suzuki Bandit was stolen from Craymill Square. Officers from Barnehurst Safer Neighbourhood Team kindly assisted at Crayford Fun Day on Saturday 16th June on our team’s behalf along with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and a good day was had by all. On Tuesday 19th June, officers attended St Paulinus Hall to help the Rainbows debate Equality, the girls were very involved and there was a good discussion. We will be in Rectory Close on Tuesday 26th June between 11-12 knocking on doors to give crime prevention or listen to your concerns". Erith ward:- "We have been patrolling Erith Park on a daily basis due to some ASB issues we have signed up 2 new NHW members in this area so hopefully we have some eyes on the area that can report back to us. We have had a few issues of a group of students from Bexley collage smoking drugs outside the collage and surrounding streets, we are going to be actively patrolling this and speaking to the collage regarding this issue. Some crimes of note Shoplift <£200 09/06/2018 Town Square. Other theft 12/06/2018, Alford Road - money transferred from victims account Making off 13/06/2018 WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - Making off Without Payment Theft of cycle 13/06/2018 Riverdale Road - Unknown person has stolen victims pedal cycle Other theft 13/06/2018 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - Unknown suspect has stolen green shopping bag containing personal items belonging to victim from shop floor Other theft 15/06/2018 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - Suspect been captured on CCTV taking viw's money from bag Theft of MV 16/06/2018 Friday Road - 4 male suspects on mopeds have attempted to steal victim's scooter m/c from outside his home address, causing damage to the vehicle Making off 17/06/2018 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - Suspect obtains fuel from venue and leaves, making no payment. Theft from Motor Vehicle 17/06/2018 Northend Trading Estate, Northend Road- VIW is reporting 3 vehicles have been broken into at the unit Making off 18/06/2018 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - SUS1 has filled up with fuel and made off without making payment for the fuel. Other theft 06/06/2018 Fit4less, Erith High Street - By unknown person(s) taking victims phone when left unattended in changing room". Northumberland Heath ward:- "Good news this week, no burglaries or motor vehicle crime reported to us. We are aware of recent reports of Anti-Social Behaviour across the ward including Northumberland Heath Recreation Ground As your local team, with ASB being our main priority we are constantly working on long and short term plans to address this. This includes us using stop and search to target drugs misuse, targeted patrolling, taking children home, having parental meetings, school intervention and referrals to support agencies through our youth offending team. This is a constant process as each year a new group of teenagers join the age bracket of 14-16 when they are most likely to get involved in causing Anti-social Behaviour. Last week we held a meeting with our Bexley Council Community Safety Officer to discuss the issues in Northumberland Heath Recreation Ground. We discussed a number of ideas to address issues long term. We hope to have some news on this in the near future. Over the recent weeks we have stop and searched up to 30 people for drugs and in that time reported several people including teenagers for Possession of Cannabis and taken a large knife off the streets. Teenagers have been referred to our youth offending team, we have spoken to parents and teenagers on the streets about ASB and a group of teenagers were taken home to parents at the weekend. PC Dan Young and Tom Smith have spent a number of hours this week conducting plain clothes patrols in the recreation ground and conducted three stop and searches, two of which have been reported for possession of cannabis. Once interviewed they will be referred to the Youth Offending Team. ASB is widespread across all wards but in North Heath your team take it very seriously. We have made huge improvements from the levels of ASB reported in 2017 and will keep on working to improve things". Slade Green and North End ward:- "No burglaries in the last week. There was an attempted burglary at Frobisher Road on Sunday June 17th around lunchtime. A front door lock appeared to have been tampered with but no access was gained to the property though. A pushbike was stolen from a communal area of Applegarth House overnight on Sat/Sun 16/17 June. No leads at this time. A newly purchased car was stolen overnight from the car park at Orchard House on Mon/Tues 18/19 June. The car has fortunately been recovered by Kent Police. PC Brookes-Smith has had 6 stop and searches in the last week with 3 positive searches and cannabis seized with a warning giving via an On The Street Dispersal. PC Brookes-Smith and PC Telfer have also recovered 2 stolen motorbikes in the ward, one in Canada Road and the other in Whitehall Lane where there had been recent reports of a bike being ridden dangerously over the field area there. PC Telfer went to purchase his lunch on Tuesday and ended up taking details for a crime report after a lady left her purse and phone on the deli counter at Morrison’s only to return 5 minutes later and it was gone. CCTV was checked but unfortunately it didn’t cover the deli counter. Please remember to always keep your valuables out of sight wherever you go". Thamesmead East ward:- "Good News. No burglaries to report this week. However remain vigilant at all times. On the afternoon of Sunday 17/06/18, whilst on patrol PCSO Hobbs was handed a motor vehicle key fob that a local resident had found, which when activated opened a motor vehicle parked in St john Fisher Road. A vehicle check revealed that the owner resided in another area of Thamesmead. Following a more detailed check by PC Pruden, the rightful owner was contacted ,who at the time was visiting friends in Mangold Way, with the owner producing ID, the key fob was handed back. Motor Vehicle crime - Between the hours of 02:30am and 06:00 am on Thursday 14/06/18 a vehicle locked and secure was stolen from outside an address in Parkway. At 11:30 am on Friday 15/06/18, criminal damage by means of a smashed was caused to a vehicle parked in Mangold Way. The front number plate was stolen from a vehicle parked outside of Trefoil House, Kale Road overnight of Thursday 14/06/18 and Friday 15/06/18.Between the dates of 15/06/18 and 17/06/18 a motor vehicle was stolen from Redpoll Road, it was at 2;30 pm on Sunday 17/06/18 that a neighbour contacted the victim, saying that the vehicle had gone. It was the victim who then contacted police. From the hours of 11:59 pm on Sunday 17/06/18 to 08:00am Monday 18/06/18 a vehicle parked in Maran Way had the nearside rear quarter light broken. Crime prevention - Did you know your vehicle is like a shop window? If you can see any property left on view then so can a thief. Take it with you or put it out of sight. Criminal Damage Property - Between the hours of 10;20 pm on Saturday 16/06/18 and 2:50 pm on Sunday 17/06/18 criminal damage was caused to a front door in a block of flats in Kale Road. Ongoing enquiries being made by Thamesmead East officers. On Thursday 28th June, a Community Contact Session will be held at The Link, Bazalgette Way between 2 – 3 pm. An opportunity for members of the community to speak with a Dedicated Ward Officer".

The end video this week comes from the Slade Green railway depot open day last year. It shows the inside of the giant sheds in the depot, where the trains are repaired and maintained. I have to admit that I have never attended one of the open days, though I would greatly like to. I have travelled past the depot many times, but this is the first time I have been able to see what actually happens inside them. Do give the video a watch, and please feel free to either leave a comment below, or alternatively Email me at