Ever since I moved out of London in 2018 it seems I cannot go more than a day or so without bad news reaching me from the city.
Now this bad news is not financial or professional it is about bad things happening to friends and their families. In the space of one week recently, news reached me about the following happening in London:
- A friend having a motorbike stolen
- A friend having an expensive car stolen from their driveway
- A friend being burgled with a lot of expensive items stolen
- 2 friends being the victim of cashpoint fraud and theft
- The wife of one friend being sexually assaulted
- The teenage son of a friend being mugged at knifepoint for his mobile phone.
A weekend doesn’t anymore pass without a stabbing or murder taking place in London. I was extremely annoyed and upset and annoyed to hear that a friendly newsagent that used to be local to me in South West London and I used reasonably regularly to purchase newspapers or cigarettes was attacked not once but twice this month (December 2019). I have seen stills of the attackers and none of them look over the age of about fifteen. Apparently in the two robberies the attackers got away with around £2,000 worth of cigarettes. The people who were attacked were always very nice to me on my visits and certainly did not deserve the attacks. One was punched in the face and also kicked in the head 🙁
I am struggling to work out how London has become such a nasty place to live. On the face it, London should be one of the most well-to-do capital cities in the world not a crime infested place that it looks like it has become.
I am used to visiting and staying in some of the worst places in the world. Such places where a professional man is an instant target for every criminal within a 50 mile radius. Where leaving the hotel or office without a security guard is as risky to my safety as doing 110 Mph around the M25 is to the cleanliness of my driving licence.
I was pondering this earlier today. I am now wondering when I have to start considering security arrangements and protocols when visiting London. Thankfully my visits are getting fewer and farther between but on each of my most recent visits I have felt less and less safe than the previous visit. A sad indictment for a city that I lived in on and off for most of my life.
I do not know who or what is to blame and furthermore I do not know what the solution looks like. One thing I do know is this. Something has to be done and very soon. We live in precarious times especially economically. If London Sneezes the rest of the country can catch a cold. London is so important to the prosperity of the country and I fear that if the crime situation continues this will impact economics which would be a shame for those of us “out in the sticks”.
I am pleased I left when I did,