Queensbury Shooting – A Sign Of Our Times
A shooting at Queensbury tube station lat night. One dead, one injured. The news made me freeze on the radio yesterday morning. What a stinking mess we are in.
I grew up in Queensbury. We moved there from Hampstead when I was small so we could have a garden. I found it boring. Quiet, green, very residential, very nice, everyone knew each other. Lots families with children. I got used to it. I made lots of friends and we all grew up together. In safety and security. Apple scrumping was about as crazy as it got. We all went to school together and played in the streets ‘out the front’ as we called it, until dark or til we got called in by our parents. It was safe and we never felt frightened. If you forgot to lock your back door or your car it wasn’t much of a problem – the odd ‘cassette’ might get nicked but that was unusual. We were in and out of each other’s houses and gardens all Summer. And we could walk ourselves to school even whilst at junior school. This was not out in the countryside, this was a suburb of NW London, just 30 minutes on the tube from central London. I’m not looking through rose tinted spectacles, all the suburbs were like that.
My parents moved away a few years ago, as did many people. They noticed the area was going downhill and didn’t feel so comfortable anymore. But to hear this – a SHOOTING in Queensbury, place of my youth! What is going on??? This is the most shocking news on the terrible state we find ourselves in so far, as I know the area well and it stopped me in my tracks when I heard it this morning… is nowhere safe now… I think we are going to find ourselves asking that question more and more often. And more and more will feel they have no choice but to move further out of London…
Are we just going to sit here and watch it happen through gritted teeth and bated breath? Wincing at the latest report on stabbings, gun crime, drug crime, gang warfare, moped muggings, jewellery shops ramraided in broad daylight in busy packed shopping centres… With every incident, the perpetrators become braver. And we become more despondent or maybe anaesthetised, which is worse really. It becomes the norm, still shocking but hey ho, it’s what we expect.. Someone said to me today ‘well I’m not from London but I think this has always gone on they just report it more now’. Absolute rubbish! I had to contain myself and calmly explain that is not the case, that London has changed and not for the better. So what shall we do? Just change our way of life, go home earlier, don’t walk in the dark, don’t trust anyone, don’t stop to help or get involved, just in case? No, I don’t want to live like that!
Don’t get me wrong – reporting it is great, the emergency services are fantastic, and those who clean up afterwards are wonderful. But it is not enough. This mess has been a long time coming and it is going to be hard work to fix. Zero tolerance is needed. Big questions need to be asked. And answered. We could do without it, but its here now and It will only get worse.
Of course, London has always had its share of crime. The odd gun or knife incident. Gangs too. But minimal for the size of the city and the population. We’ve always been a fairly law-abiding lot. Not having any sort of gun culture helped. And our police were fantastic. We had our share of burglaries and the usual. But shootings at suburban tube stations? Stabbings every night? Young underage teenagers stabbing each other over drug deals, phones ripped out of your hands as you stroll along…..who would have thought this nightmare would be here.
I’m not even throwing out blame or criticism right now. I’m just on my knees begging – PLEASE – save my City.