If you thought neighbourhood watch was about ostracising young people, putting up worrying signs, being paranoid and twitching curtains, think again, because the eaglesfield neighbourhood watch scheme are a positive force promoting what’s good whilst remaining vigilant concerning the not so good. Actually this area is more good than not, the local met beat has the lowest crime rate in the borough (in april 2010 it was 5.83) and the group can probably take some credit for keeping it that way.
When the scheme was conceived in around late 2005/early 2006, i attended a meeting about the rising tensions between local residents and a group of youngsters in eaglesfield park, and yes the reactionary squad were out in force, claiming that if children got caned at school everything would be alright! but with the advent of the group, and the introduction of a detached youth worker (who got them to plant crocuses and take a bit of care of the park) things gradually got better. I’m not sure what happened to the yoof, although i did hear a rumour that as a treat the youth worker took them to chessington at the end of the summer, where they managed to get thrown out… i believe they were moved from the park to the woods after that, having seen them once when london bubble were performing there one night (incidentally they are back this august, trying to stop the dogs running off with their props!).
Since then the scheme has got bigger and better, and with the inception of its website, which recently celebrated it’s first birthday, the whole police ward has gradually become more interconnected with residents on different streets (cleanthus, foxcroft, kenilworth, bushmoor etc) joining up under the shooters hill umbrella with the backing of the local safer neighbourhoods scheme.
As part of their ongoing positive action, they will be presenting their annual Fête tomorrow (sat the 12th of june) from 130 to 430, and have amassed an impressive selection of activities.
- Meet ‘Rufus’ the harris hawk from CBBC Animals At Work and other working birds of prey
- Play ‘beat the goalie’ with the Charlton Athletic FC
- Take part in mini tennis with the Shooters Hill Lawn Tennis Club
- See the Police Air Support and meet the mounted team and traffic division. Plus Cadets and Met Specials and the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team
- Listen to the Corps of Drums 97 Cadet Battery (Woolwich)
- Children can take part in a ‘Nature Trail’ and have their face painted
- Guided tours of the trees in the park will be hosted by Arboriculturalist Joe Woodcock.
- The police have pulled out all the stops this year and you will be able to see the Met Police Air Support team and traffic divisions. Cadets and Met Police Specials will be on hand, and the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team.
- Join in the nature trail and guided tour, and have your face and hands painted.
- Take part in the raffle to a win 2 pairs of tickets to see Bon Jovi in the VIP suite at the 02, plus many other great prizes.
- Yummy home-made cakes and refreshments will be on sale, as well as a bric-a-brac stand.
- The fete opens at 1:30pm by PC Fiona Genovese of the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police Team.