Sunday, September 02, 2018


I took the two photos above yesterday afternoon; they show the nearly completed conversion of the ground floor - the former bar area of the White Hart pub in Erith High Street into a brand new African restaurant and bar, which is scheduled to open on the 16th of September. The upper floors were converted into a number of luxury apartments, and have been occupied for around six months already.  There are some concerns about the ground floor restaurant / bar - until very recently a drinks and music licence application was on display in the window by the entrance to the bar area. It detailed the proposed opening hours of the establishment, and this led to widespread concern amongst local residents. The original licence application stated that the restaurant / bar would be open from 10am until 5am the next morning, and serving alcohol until 4.30am. My personal opinion is that this is just a "fishing trip" by the bar owners - they don't actually expect to get this application granted, but they are seeing what they can get away with. Bearing in mind the White Hart is located in a conservation area; it has retirement apartments behind it, and sheltered housing very close by, I would not expect the licencing authorities to treat this current application sympathetically. Nevertheless, since the White Hart has now publicly announced that it plans to open to the public on the 16th of September, it may be that feedback from local people needs to be amplified. I suspect that an application to serve alcoholic drinks from midday to midnight on a Friday and Saturday, and midday to 11pm on other days is far more likely to be granted. Nowadays the licencing application process formerly operated by Bexley Council is outsourced to Sevenoaks Borough Council. Any objections to the proposed White Hart opening hours needs to be raised by sending an Email to You need to include your name and address in any correspondence, but this will not be passed on to the licence applicant. 

You may recall that back on the 12th of August I reported that there was a UK wide shortage of  Rose's Lime Juice Cordial, after the company confirmed there had been a fire at its factory. Coca Cola, which owns the brand, confirmed to the press that production had been temporarily suspended in a public apology to customers. It was hoped that supplies of the famous drink would return to normal within a few weeks. The oldest manufactured soft drink in the world is now slowly finding its way back onto supermarket shelves, after an absence of around a month - though I have to admit that it has seemed far longer to me. I managed to purchase the only two bottles in the soft drinks section of Morrison's in Erith on Bank Holiday Monday - I was not being greedy - one bottle is for me, the other is for my Mum, who is also a fan of the cordial.  One thing I did notice was that the two bottles in the photograph above (click on it for a larger version) were not filled to precisely the same level. This is unusual, as Rose's quality control is normally very high. I presume that in setting up a new production facility after the catastrophic fire has probably meant that some short - term corners have had to be cut in order to get the lime juice cordial production line rolling as quickly as possible. In the meantime I tried another brand of lime juice cordial, and I found it to be utterly disgusting - it was extremely synthetically sweet, had very little actual lime flavour, and had a cloying mouth feel. Roses only make lime juice cordial under their own brand - they don't make it for others to sell under their own labels. It is a somewhat unusual (for nowadays, at least) example of "accept no substitutes".

In addition to the usual weekly local safety and security updates, which will be featured later in this blog update, here is a message from Mark Piggott of the Slade Green and North End Safer Neighbourhood  Team:- "Community Contact Sessions dates and times in the Ward for September 2018 are listed below. SATURDAY 08/SEPTEMBER/2018  1000hrs FOREST ROAD CAFÉ.  FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2018  1900hrs PIER ROAD SNT BASE. THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2018  1100hrs SLADE GREEN LIBRARY. We will also be at the Slade Green Big Local Community Day on Saturday 15th September from 1pm in St Augustines Church Hall, we will have a stall with Neighbourhood Watch which will have Crime Prevention advice and leaflets as well as being there to talk over any local issues, come along and see us if you are free. School gate patrols will continue from next week once all schools are back. If there are any issues that affect you or you have any information you feel we may need to know, please come and see us. All information is dealt with in the strictest confidence. You can also use these sessions to report crime. If you have no issues or information, come and see us anyway! Please remember our phone is only on when we are at work and is only for information purposes, so please leave a name and number if you call us and we don't answer on 0208 7212023. Alternatively we can also be reached via email on You can now follow the team on Twitter @MPSNorthEndRY. If you would like to become involved with Neighbourhood Watch and set up a scheme for your road (if you do not have one), please let us know. If you are unsure if you do have a scheme in your road, again, email us and we can let you know".

On Tuesday afternoon, I found myself in Bellegrove Road in Welling, after a visit to the exceptionally excellent Wide Shoes Shop - the only place where I can reliably purchase shoes that actually fit me properly. After buying a new pair of shoes, I walked along the road until I reached the long established independent record dealer Cruisin’ Records in Welling. The place is a goldmine of recorded music - they stock everything from the latest chart CD's classic vinyl, collectable picture disks and even vintage shellac 78's, along with DVD's and Blu Ray films. It is truly a remarkable place - I could have spent ages in the store. I recall visiting the shop back in the 1980’s – it held a bewildering variety of stock, from pretty much every musical genre; at the time it leaned towards jazz funk and soul, and I can recall hearing adverts for the shop on several dance themed pirate radio stations at the time. Erith used to have an independent record shop, which was part of a small chain – T.W Records was located on the site of the mini cab office on the junction of Pier Road and Cross Street. It was a strange place, managed by a person of (to me anyway) indeterminate gender. I never really worked out whether they were he or she, or perhaps somewhere in between. They were not exactly unfriendly, more distant and uninterested – well, that was my impression anyway. The shop was on split levels, with most chart singles and albums on the lower tier, and the more obscure genres, along with a couple of slot machines, and the cash desk were on the upper tier. What anyone who ever visited the place always recalls is the ceiling, which was remarkable – giant purple plaster stalactites hung down, almost reaching head height when you were on the upper tier – they had been there for as long as I could recall. T.W records also had a shop in Bexleyheath, near the clock tower, where the Furze Wren is now located, as well as a third in Plumstead High Street, though I never visited that branch. The Bexleyheath shop also housed a small cafe, that constantly seemed busy, though I reckon some of their customers nursed a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie for hours. It was a much more conventional looking shop, but both the Erith and Bexleyheath stores had one thing in common – it was widely known that they were both chart return shops. They had special tills that monitored record sales that fed into the weekly record chart. It was meant to be secret, but pretty much everyone – including the record company sales reps knew which shops were chart return, and always made sure that rarities, picture disks and other items desirable to collectors would make their way to those outlets. I recall that the Erith branch would often have large promotional displays in the window, which were left lit up at night, the glow from these would reflect off the purple stalactites to give an eerie atmosphere – very surreal stuff. A pity that the shops are long gone – but at least Cruisin’ Records in Welling are carrying on the tradition.

It is well documented that aside from the Maggot Sandwich, I have virtually no online presence; I certainly don't have any truck with social media such as Facebook or Snapchat. I know that many people pretty much run their lives by Facebook, but the idea of exposing so much personal information to others is an anathema to me - what I publish on the Blog is tightly controlled, which is something that I value. It would appear that distrust of social media is spreading to those who might have been thought to have been some of its most enthusiastic users. It is widely believed that young people are hopelessly devoted to social media. Teenagers, according to this stereotype, tweet, gram, Snap and scroll. Having said that, for every young person hunched over a screen, there are others for whom social media no longer holds such an allure. These teens are turning their backs on the technology – and there are more of them than you might think. While many people been engrossed in the Instagram lives of co-workers and peers, a backlash among young people has been quietly boiling. One 2017 survey of British schoolchildren found that 63 percent would be happy if social media had never been invented. Another survey of 9,000 internet users from the research firm Ampere Analysis found that people aged 18-24 had significantly changed their attitudes towards social media in the past two years. Whereas 66 percent of this demographic agreed with the statement “social media is important to me” in 2016, only 57 percent make this claim in 2018. As young people increasingly reject social media, older generations increasingly embrace it: among the 45-plus age bracket, the proportion who value social media has increased from 23 percent to 28 percent in the past year, according to Ampere’s data. This is part of a wider trend. According to a study by US marketing firm Hill Holliday of Generation Z – people born after 1995 – half of those surveyed stated they had quit or were considering quitting at least one social media platform.  Studies have shown that social media use can negatively affect mental wellbeing, and adolescents are particularly susceptible: one nationally representative survey of US 13 to 18-year-olds linked heavier social media use to depression and suicide, particularly in girls. 41 percent of the Generation Z teens surveyed by Hill Holliday reported that social media made them feel anxious, sad or depressed. Developers of platforms such as Facebook have admitted that they were designed to be addictive. In fact the senior executives at sites such as Facebook and Instagram rarely if ever use their own products. Over at Twitter, the story is the same. Of the company’s nine most senior executives, only four tweet more than once a day on average. Ned Seagal, its chief financial officer, has been on the site for more than six years and has sent fewer than two tweets a month. It is a pattern that holds true across the sector. For all the industry’s focus on “eating your own dog food”, the most diehard users of social media are rarely those sitting in a position of power. Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, broke the official silence in October last year, telling a conference in Philadelphia that he was “something of a conscientious objector” to social media. “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ That means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments,” he said. The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya said in an interview in the Guardian that:- “It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators – me, Mark [Zuckerberg], Kevin Systrom on Instagram, all of these people – understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.” A month later, Parker was joined by another Facebook objector, former vice-president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth,” Palihapitiya said at a conference in Stanford, California. In a further recently published article, Adam Alter, a psychologist and the author of Irresistible, an examination of technology addiction, wrote that "it is almost beside the point whether social media makes you happy or sad in the short term. The deeper issue is that your usage is compulsive – or even addictive. The addiction concept applies much more broadly and to many more behaviours than we perhaps thought and also therefore applies to many more people in the population. Roughly half the adult population has at least one behavioural addiction. Not many of us have substance addictions, but the way the world works today there are many, many behaviours that are hard for us to resist and a lot of us develop self-undermining attachments to those behaviours that border on or become addictions". These addictions haven’t happened accidentally, Alter argues. Instead, they are a direct result of the intention of companies such as Facebook and Twitter to build “sticky” products, ones that we want to come back to over and over again. “The companies that are producing these products, the very large technology companies in particular, are producing them with the intent to hook. They are doing their very best to ensure not that our wellbeing is preserved, but that we spend as much time on their products and on their programs and apps as possible. That is their key goal: it’s not to make a product that people enjoy and therefore becomes profitable, but rather to make a product that people can’t stop using and therefore becomes profitable". A campaign to get people to "go cold turkey" in respect of using social media has been launched - click here to read more about it. What do you think? Leave a comment below, or alternatively Email me at

As previously mentioned, now that we no longer have a Danson Show, the only nearby alternative is the annual show held in Havering, just across the River Thames, which took place last weekend. The Havering Show attracted an estimated 30,000 revellers, who braved the weather to hear S Club Party, Heatwave, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Baby D and a whole host of other acts over the two days in Harrow Lodge Park. Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “Once again it was great to see thousands of people enjoying themselves at what was the 40th anniversary Havering Show over the Bank Holiday weekend. Despite the bad weather on Sunday, many still braved the rain and were determined to have a good time and we hope they did". What I fail to understand is that the London Borough of Havering has a roughly similar population, demographic and even a similar geography - albeit they have a superior public transportation system as the borough is well served by Tube stations - but overall the place is very similar to Bexley. How come Havering Council can organise and finance a very successful annual public festival - and Bexley cannot (or more likely will not)? I think it shows a fundamental difference in the ways the two councils operate. Indeed, it may be that the London Borough of Bexley is in fact missing a very important revenue stream; In a report in the Guardian this week, a study by the urban geographer Dr Andrew Smith, who examined the changing use of three of London’s green spaces: Finsbury Park, Gunnersbury Park and Brockwell Park, to the North, West and South-East of central London.  He argued that councils are depending more and more on the revenues they raise by renting parks out privately for large events such as concerts and festivals. One illuminating discovery was that Battersea Park had played host to approximately 99 festivals in 1991, but more than 600 in 2016. The Friends of Finsbury Park claim that in the first eight months of 2018 the park has been “occupied” by festivals for 113 days (Haringey council contests the figure, putting it at 66 days, and says that events such as the Wireless festival do not take over the entire park but merely a portion of it). Smith’s research focused on London, but the picture is similar throughout the UK, from Heaton Park in Manchester to Sefton Park in Liverpool (where, in fact, the council and residents came to an agreement over noise levels), from Hylands Park in Chelmsford, where the V festival has given way to the RiZe festival, to Eastville Park in Bristol, soon to host the Tokyo World Festival. There seems to be a clear delineation between those who wish to preserve the integrity of open spaces as one of the few areas of urban life that can be accessed for free by a wide range of people, and those who point to the importance of using those spaces to generate a more diverse range of activities and, by extension, users. That councils have also been forced to seek ever more lucrative ways of creating revenue is largely beyond dispute. It seems to me that using Bexley's larger parks and open spaces for occasional public events would benefit both the council and local residents. Certainly the commercialisation of parks to the extent of Battersea or Finsbury should be avoided, but to be honest as an outer London borough, Bexley would never attract the number or size of events of those locations. If you have any deeper insight into this, please let me know at the usual address - any feedback can be completely confidential, should you so wish.

Now for the weekly safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association; firstly from Barnehurst ward:- "Unfortunately Barnehurst Ward has suffered one burglary in Merewood Road. This burglary would have took place anytime between Monday 20th August and Friday 24th August 2018. The victim has returned home to find a smashed window caused by a stone which was found on a work surface within the property. An untidy search took place in every room. Unfortunately there was no CCTV and following door to door enquiries nothing was seen or heard. On Monday 27th August between the hours of 10.00pm and 07.00am in Hillingdon Road there was a theft from a motor vehicle. Personal items were taken from the vehicle. One of our Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators contacted us to report possible cold callers that have been canvassing in Erith so may encroach onto Barnehurst Ward. It was reported that the males knocking on doors claim to be from a company called Energy United and want to discuss energy bills with residents. Please do not answer the door to anyone who you are unsure off and always check all details of energy suppliers before agreeing to their terms and conditions. Unfortunately all sorts of reasons are given to residents for the knock on the door but in reality it's a method for the burglar to establish whether someone is home or not or whether the resident is vulnerable in order to gain access. The team have carried out street a week to Parkside Cross, Hornbeam Lane and Hemsted Close, all with good feedback from the residents with regards feeling safe in their area. We also managed to recruit a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator from Hornbeam Lane. Due to unforeseen circumstances the team arrived slightly late for the weekly contact session however we did meet a resident who had arrived as we did but apologies to those who may have turned up and left before we arrived. Please join us for our next community contact session at Barnehurst Golf Club on Wednesday 05th September at 1pm". Belvedere ward:- "Unfortunately we are starting to get reports of theft of mail and related fraud offences taking place on the Belvedere Park Estate again. This time the focus seems to be on Jutland House. If anyone does experience theft of mail please report to us by either calling 101 or via our website and click on the ‘report it' link. If anyone is a victim of fraud please contact Action Fraud via their website at or calling 0300 123 2040. If someone is seen to take post from another's post-box please call 999 immediately. Or if anyone does have any information about who may be responsible please get in touch with the team by calling 0208 721 2050 or e-mail Any contact and information given will be treated in confidence. Drop in surgery on 06/09/2018 at the Community Centre Café from 12:00 until 13:00". From Neighbourhood Watch Office - Andrew Davis:- "A resident from Chapman Road contacted us advising that there have been scrambler bikes being ridden (by school-aged / youths, no helmets) most afternoons this week in Streamway which were causing residents concern with it being a popular place for families and dog walkers. We have forwarded the details on to the Erith SNT team and advised the resident to consider calling 101. We have also had similar reported but on the road - Erith Road, Upper Belvedere and Nuxley Road". From Member of the Public - in Belvedere:- "Just a brief note to say a big thank you to the Belvedere team for sorting out the problem of the team of 'beggars' who were targeting Nuxley Road. Their behaviour was increasingly getting worse, with up to five or six men appearing together the following Saturday afternoon including the bald man and the white-haired/bearded man that I had mentioned, and others of various ages. They were drinking and being quite aggressive with passers-by. However, since then there has been blissful respite from their presence, so presumably the team stepped in and have dealt with the problem. Myself and my neighbours are very grateful for your actions in addressing this nuisance which was was rapidly escalating to becoming a significant issue in the area". Bexleyheath ward:- "Unfortunately, we have had had two reported burglaries on the ward recently as well as one attempted burglary. One was reported on the 26/08/2018 along Bedonwell Road, jewellery taken but method of entry is unknown. The other took place between 26/08/2018 and 27/08/2018 along Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath. Entry was gained through ground floor kitchen window and Jewellery was taken. The attempted burglary had taken place on the 26/08/2018 along Sterling Road Bexleyheath. Suspects had accessed the rear of the property via the side and the rear patio door was smashed. On the 25/08/2018 we had a report of money and a mobile phone stolen from the victim outside the Furz Wren Public House. Also between 13/08/2018 and 23/07/2018 – Furniture and televisions were stolen from inside a shop along the Broadway Bexleyheath. A theft of pedal cycle was reported on the 22/08/2018 which was taken from outside The Rose PH along the Broadway. Between the 27/08/2018 and 28/08/2018 – There was a report of a criminal damage to motor vehicle along Broomfield Road Bexleyheath, driver side window was smashed. At ASDA's in Bexleyheath a purse was stolen from the checkout area in the store. Between 3pm & 4pm, we shall be holding our next contact session on the 07/09/2018 at Café Nero along the Broadway Bexleyheath. Please spread the word and you are welcome to pop along and have a chat. The team are targeting patrols around Martens Grove and Grove Road especially around the garages to reduce any further reports of anti-social behaviour. If you do wish to pass on information to Police then please contact Crime stoppers on 0800 555111. Please do not hesitate to contact us via Twitter, Facebook, email and the ward phone. If you are after crime prevention advice, please look at the Met Police website which has lots of information that you may find useful. Remember in an emergency please dial 999 and 101 for non-urgent reporting". Crayford ward:- "On Wednesday 26th August between 6am and 17.20 a grey Saracen mountain bike was stolen from the bicycle rack at Crayford BR Station. It had been secured by a heavy duty lock. This matter has been referred to the British Transport Police for further investigation. It has been reported that on Friday 24th August between 01.05 and 01.08 am a residential burglary took place in Woodside Road. Entry was via an insecure front door and cash, a laptop and Silver Audi A4 was stolen. On Thursday 23rd August at about 09.50 a black Vauxhall Astra made off from police and was later discovered abandoned near Bourne Road with weapons inside. The vehicle was seized and the investigation is ongoing. On Saturday 25th August at 23.15 a vehicle was stopped in Watling Street and the suspect admitted to having cannabis about their person, this was dealt with by use of community resolution. On Saturday 25th August at 16.15 there was a racially aggravated road rage incident. Whilst driving along Bourne Road the victim was racially abused, the suspect was banging on their car window with their fist and the car was kicked, further along the road the victim sustained a graze to their arm by the suspect after getting out of their vehicle. The number plate of the suspect's vehicle was given to police along with that person's photo. On Sunday 19th August between 13.00-20.30 front and rear number plates were stolen from a vehicle parked outside 160 Maiden Lane. On Monday 27th August at 11.25am a bag containing a mobile phone, wallet and keys was stolen from a car parked in Crayford High Street whilst the driver was present. The suspect opened the passenger door and snatched the bag that was on the passenger seat. The suspect was described as white, aged abut 30-35 years, black hair, slim build wearing a red top and black bottoms. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to keep personal effects out of sight whilst in your vehicle to prevent opportunist theft. Between 21.00 on Monday 20 August and 13.30 on Tuesday 21 August front and rear number plates were stolen from a parked vehicle in Maiden Lane close to Alcock Crescent. We've been out and about patrolling Crayford ward including open spaces and have enjoyed meeting so many people. We are aware of drug taking at Biggs Hill Wood and whilst patrolling there last week two youths were stopped for drugs offences. There was a foot chase as the Male ran off across to Shenstone Park, the Female is currently being dealt with by the Youth Offending Team (YOT) and provided she complies with what is expected of her will receive a community resolution. Two people were stopped today for using their mobile phones whilst driving, using a mobile phone as a Sat Nav in your hand is not a defence! On Thursday whilst on foot patrol I was stopped in Watling Street as a dog had been seen running in the road. Two vehicles had stopped and the occupants had got out to prevent the dog coming to harm and to check it was not injured. The dog was unharmed but scared and although wearing a collar, did not have a nametag. The gentleman in one vehicle attached a make shift lead to the dog's collar and the lady from the other vehicle very kindly offered to take the dog to a local vet to see if it was micro-chipped. Sadly, no microchip and the lady drove the dog to the dog warden at Sidcup to be cared for. A very big thank you to these lovely people for their care and assistance for the dog. A CAD was created so that if the owner called 101 they would know where to locate their pet. These things happen, pets escape sometimes. All dog owners are responsible for ensuring their dogs are microchipped and recorded, regardless of whether they got their dog before the legislation on microchipping came in to effect (2016) and to ensure that these details are kept up to date. This must be done by an authorised implanter. A person can be fined if they don't meet this requirement, although generally they will be given time to comply. Lost or stray dogs can be reunited with their owners quickly, less upset for dog and owner. Also, dogs are required by law to wear a collar and identity tag in a public place. If you have a dog, maybe one that is a little older, perhaps take a moment to check that your loyal friend is suitably micro-chipped please". Erith ward:- "Weekly crimes of note - Other theft 21/08/2018, Bexley Road - theft of three flower baskets from his garden Criminal Damage U £500 23/08/2018, Pembroke Road - Suspect has smashed a window at the location by way of throwing a brick at it; Theft of cycle 25/08/2018 Erith Pier, Erith High Street - Suspect has taken victim's unattended bicycle but was unable to ride it and gave it back to victim; Other theft 25/08/2018 Super Save West Street - Shoplifters -  the total value of the stolen items is £3.00 (2 X cans of beer); Theft from MV (Motor Vehicle) 11/08/2018 Riverdale Road - Vehicle broken into at location and cash taken from within. Mess caused; Other theft 26/08/2018 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, James Watt Way - The suspect drove off without paying for petrol; Theft of cycle 27/08/2018 McDonalds Restaurants Ltd, James Watt Way - Pedal bike was stolen from outside McDonalds; Theft of MV 28/08/2018 Cricketers Close - broke the lock on the victims bike and tried to remove it by breaking the steering lock and pushing it up the road before dropping it and running off once challenged by an unknown person. The next Community Contact Session is on Tuesday 4th September, 11am -12noon at Costa, Erith. Crime prevention advice this week - What you can do about harassment - . Having your car broken into and losing your things to thieves can be very distressing. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what's in it, safe -" Northumberland Heath ward:- "Sadly, we have had several burglaries reported to us over the past few days. One took place in Parsonage Manorway on Friday August 24th between 7.30am – 6.30pm whilst the occupiers were out at work .It is believed entry was gained via a downstairs kitchen window. Passports, jewellery and bank cards were stolen. We have also had two burglaries in Mill Road. The first took place on the evening of Saturday 25th of August, or possibly overnight as it was not discovered until mid-morning on Sunday 26th. It is believed that entry was gained via a bathroom window , an untidy search was conducted and several high value pieces of jewellery were stolen. The occupants were not present at the time of the burglary. The second burglary in Mill Road took place between Sunday 26th 5.30pm and Bank holiday Monday 27th August at midday. The occupants have only recently acquired the property and were in the process of moving personal possessions in when the burglary took place. A downstairs rear window pane was smashed and an untidy search of the premises was conducted. Several items of jewellery and a toaster were stolen. On a slighter happier note, no vehicle crimes have been reported to us over the last week. PC Tom Smith stopped and searched two youths on Tuesday afternoon in the alleyway between Frinsted Road and Avenue Road, and having smelt cannabis the male and female youths will be investigated further".

Slade Green and North End ward:- "No burglaries in the last 2 weeks which is good news. In fact, there are no crimes of note to report for the last week. A resident contacted the team on Tuesday to inform us of a knife they had found near a garage area on the ward. We recovered the knife (see photo) and it is to be destroyed on borough. There is no evidence suggesting that the knife has been used in any crime but it is still good intelligence received by a local resident which is why we always urge the public to contact us with any concerns or questions that they think we need to be aware of. A male was stopped and searched by PC Mark last Thursday afternoon and cannabis was found in his possession and seized. The relevant warnings were issued and the investigation continues.Proactive patrols have been made in all the ward promise areas, parks and open spaces as well as the shops in the ward. We have been in the new Premier shop in Manor Road (what used to be the Royal Alfred Pub) and it is very nice indeed. Worth a look if you are passing. A group of 4 males were stopped outside McColls in Forest Road but it turned out they were just waiting for someone. No off road bikes seen over the marshes last Sunday which is good news but the rain may have played a part. Our next Community Contact Session is on Saturday 8th September, 10am at the Forest Road Café". Thamesmead East ward:- "Good news stories - On Sunday 26/08/18 PC's Pruden, Quarshie-Awuah and PCSO Hobbs attended a community event at the Emmanual Baptist church, taking part in a table tennis tournament. Despite the bad weather a BBQ was still held. Photos on twitter @MPSThamesmeadE. No burglaries to report this week. Keep vigilant at all times. Motor vehicle crimes - be fixed, now believed to have been stolen between the dates of 20/07/18 and 28/08/18 from Thamesbank Place. On Tuesday 28/08/18 at about 01:00 am a vehicle parked in Aspen Green had the window smashed. The next Community Contact Session is on Thursday 05/09/18 between the hours of 2:00 pm and 3:00pm at The Link, Bazalgette Way. All are welcome. Don't make yourself a target for thieves on bikes - Criminals are using mopeds and cycles to snatch phones and valuables. They often ride up behind the victim and even mount the pavement to grab them. Don't text while walking as you'll be distracted .Go hands free or stand away from the roadside, near a wall ,so no one can come up behind you. Make sure the security features on your phone are activated. Don't openly display high value watches and jewellery.  Keep handbags fastened and close to you". West Heath ward:- "West Heath has been unusually busy over the last week with 2 residential burglaries in Amberely Road between midday Thursday 24th and 11pm Sunday 26th Bank Holiday weekend. One was forced entry to the rear kitchen door and an untidy search was conducted, at this point it is still not known what may have been taken. The other burglary was a forced entry to a brick out building in the back garden and power tools taken. There was also an attempted burglary in Exmouth Road resulting in criminal damage to another property on Sunday 26th around 9.30pm. The suspects fled the scene when disturbed by a neighbour. The team have targeted our patrols of known drug hotspots across the ward both on foot and car".

The ending video this week shows street views in and around Erith that was filmed relatively recently; whilst this probably won't have a lot of interest to local people right now, I feel that it will be an invaluable historical document in the future. If you think of the old cine film footage from years past that just shows people going along with their everyday duties, and how much it is possible to learn from them, I think in the decades to come, video footage such as that in the piece below will give viewers a very good idea of what things were like now. What do you think? Please leave a comment below, or Email me at

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