By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
Residents of a neighbourhood shaken by two shootings over the weekend fear officials have forgotten about the area.
Two men suffered gunshot wounds over a period of three days in Tulse Hill in Lambeth – the first shooting took place on Friday followed by the second on Sunday.
Locals fear teenagers end up getting involved in gangs because of a lack of things to do in the area.
Despite this, they believe the neighbourhood is still safer than it was a decade ago, and are proud of the area’s many independent businesses – saying it has so far managed to avoid chain shops like Pret A Manger taking over the high street.
Musician Debbie Schipp, who moved to Tulse Hill on a whim four years ago after finding a cheap flat to rent, said: “There are gang problems in the area and sometimes it gets dirty. There needs to be bins and more entertainment for young people.
“I love it though. It’s home now. I love the community – it’s very friendly. I got the choice to move to St John’s in Lewisham which is nice, but I didn’t want to move.
“I love the small businesses. It’s not overrun with chains. It’s not one Pret after another like in a lot of London.”
But Ali Kamran, who has run a butchers and food shop in the high street for five years, said he feared the area was going downhill due to a lack of investment. Mr Kamran, 45, said: “There’s not a lot of improvement. It has gone down rather than gone up.
“If you come in the evening there’s no street lights on and the road is in darkness. There’s no one around in the evening because of that, especially women and children. It’s just barbers and hairdressers open. I’ve reported the light problems many times.
“Crime is a huge problem. I’ve had thieves come into my shop. A few months ago I caught one and held him until the police came. But he damaged all my stuff inside and outside the shop.”
Almost 35per cent of families in Tulse Hill are classed as deprived in one way, according to the 2021 Census. This could mean a person is unemployed in their household, nobody in the family has good GCSEs, someone they live with has a long-term health problem or they are living in overcrowded housing, among other factors.
Only one out of seven neighbouring areas has more deprived families living in it, according to the Census. In nearby Poets’ Corner and Brockwell Park, less than 28pc of households are considered deprived in at least one way.
Pictured top: Musician Debbie Schipp, who also works at cafe Perks & White by Tulse Hill railway station (Picture: Robert Firth)
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