The Team were keen to get out this Friday as we were not able to go out in August or September. The team had some assistance from Paul who joined us from the Lambeth team as Katy, Cynthia, Felicity and Wayne were also present.
Because of a recent incident which happened in Battersea which made the news of a man in his 30’s being killed near his home in Charlotte Despard Avenue in Battersea not far from where we had been patrolling in Clapham Junction.
We recognised that our work would be more of that of Response Pastors was we were responding to a very specific situation rather than a more standard Street Pastor patrol.
As we reached the area we saw that the flat where the incident took place was cordoned off by the police with some police men in the area. We asked them if there was an area where people were laying tributes to the deceased and they were able to signpost us.
The tribute area had fresh flowers and candles burning as well as a poem written for the Deceased. There were a number of people present who were of mixed opinion as to the way forward for the local community.
One young man who was a close neighbour to the deceased spoke candidly about the character of the deceased man was an eye witness to the incident. He spoke of the harrowing scene of the aftermath and how he could see the victim’s internal organs as a result of the altercation. He was clearly shaken by the event but kept his composure. He also spoke of the need for CCTV in the area as well as the fact that the police had not been seen I the area for at least 2 years despite the drug problem.
It turns out that the incident took place because the deceased confronted drug dealers who are a constant presence around the area as he was concerned about the influence these individuals were having on his children. This lead to the fight and his resulting death.
Other people felt that action had to be taken by the local community to solve the drug problem and spoke of times when they confronted the drug dealers, they reflected that what had happened to the victims could well have happened to them.
It was good for us to be there and it was clear that the latest event will have a lasting effect on the community and we were keen to get back to the area in the coming month to see what help we could give as a Street Pastor team. One bystander thanked us kindly for coming down and felt it was good to see a faith group present on this occasion. We were happy to be there to care, listen and help in any way we could.