No, not a reflection of high transport costs these days – I’m talking about an actual robbery that took place in broad daylight. I’ve been noticing the Police Incident boards around the park on my ride to and from the station all week but only today did I actually read them properly. ‘Gunpoint robbery’ is what they say – at 10:50 am in Vauxhall Spring Gardens. Knife robberies no longer shock me, at least not in the abstract – I’m sure that confronted with an actual knife I’d be a deal less sanguine about it. And a robbery taking place at night – well anyone who walks through a park long after dark is, sadly, asking for it these days. But in the middle of the morning? Right outside the City farm? I’ve been feeling relatively safe around here, especially after living in Hackney (where I once found myself asking directions from a man with a gun – fortunately I decided to pretend not to notice and he decided to pretend he believed me. And he gave good directions, too) but this, combined with the sad little shrine of flowers by the bus stop at Black Prince road gives me pause for thought.
It’s probably not related but here’s another thing I noticed this week and only put two-and-two together today. The yob-soothing teenage-scaring classical music at Vauxhall has gone. Could this mean it really does work? If so, I retract every rude thing I said about it – bring it back.
And while I have your attention, please don’t forget to observe a moment’s silence tomorrow for all the victims of last year’s July 7th attack.