Note: There is an upcoming meeting about the Forest Hill Police shooting organised by Lewisham Police on Saturday 25th February at 1pm – 3pm at Kilmorie Primary School, Kilmorie Road, Lewisham, SE23 2SP details here: http://bit.ly/yLo7Eq
The following piece is an individual’s account about a public meeting regarding the Forest Hill shooting on Monday 20th February that was organised by Lewisham Police
Written by a Lewisham Resident
So…I’ve just returned from a ‘community meeting’ held by the Met Police regarding the shooting of a young black man at the end of my road yesterday. Now I don’t usually get involved in these types of events but as it was the end of my road, I felt a need.
I’m sure that those of you who live in Lewisham, heard all about the meeting as it was announced at 4pm [on Monday] for a meeting held at 6pm! Wow the Met were clearly expecting a crowd to attend and were clearly doing their best to ensure that we do not have a repeat of the riots last year following another shooting.
As such who was in attendance? The room was full of councillors, representatives from this community safety organisation or another, council staff etc – but where were the actual residents? They weren’t there because we weren’t proactively informed that’s why! So…there were only about 30 people in attendance.
Now I am not a member of any of these organisations, I’m not on their mailing lists nor really wishing to be. I only heard about the meeting on the grapevine and luckily I was at home. Whispers in the room stated that the police had knocked on doors today and a Met community support bus was located on Stanstead Road where residents could access information but as the meeting progressed it was clear that the Met didn’t do any of that to ensure their presence – less community noise for them I think!
So the Met Police ‘PR show’ – as my sister called it – had a senior Met rep from Scotland Yard, Lewisham Borough Commander and reps from the IPCC were presenting. I won’t bore you with the details of the meeting, but I made it very clear at a number of points that as a resident I wasn’t happy with ‘lazy’ policing, which meant that residents weren’t at the meeting. I also noted the lack of consideration about how to proactively garner residents support/attendance/share information through relevant media – not just social media – but though basic leaflets/door knocking/local radio. Instead the Borough Commander stated that they would learn the lessons from today in order make improvements – really…do we pay our taxes so that the Met can continue to learn, but not do in these situations!
Updates from the meeting:
Fact: Yes the victim was black and for some reason the IPCC felt the need to highlight that he was of Ghanaian extraction – which they explained at the meeting was due to the need to provide accurate information to press queries.
Fact: A taser was displaced but apparently it didn’t work to subdue the man and so shots were fired – the details of why will form part of the IPCC investigation.
Fact: There are no details about how many shots/tasers were fired. — Note: 5 shots were fired and 3 hit the man.
Fact: The man has now stabilised and is no longer critical.
Fact: The IPCC investigation could take 6-8 months – therefore they will make concerted efforts to publish regular and accurate press information to dispel current rumours.
Fact: The Met are monitoring social media to ensure that we do have repeat of last year and have special force in place to quickly dispel public disorder.
Met Police Next Steps (Which I am positive they will take I board)
· To take on board the positive points made in order to arrange another community focussed meeting.
· To take on board some of the recommendations noted by those in
attendance in regards to the investigation.
· The IPCC will ensure that they make a concerted effort to attend the next community meeting in order to provide relevant updates concerning their investigation.
What Can You Do:
· Attend the next meeting if you live in Lewisham
· If you are a witness to the event or know anyone who was, forward details to the Met
· Dispel rumours and only share the facts as published by the Met/IPCC
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