Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Kennington hero arrests drug dealer, US Embassy info. and art/photography (general update)

The top story this morning concerns a local chap, Charlie Skinner, who contacted the police to inform them about a local drug dealer who'd moved in next door.  Instead of keeping a log, as the police advised, he bravely(?) posed as a drug dealer, entered the flat next door, fought of two of the drug dealers' "henchmen" and performed a citizens' arrest, putting the drug-dealer in a headlock until the police arrived.  Unsurprisingly, police found crystal meth (a popular drug in Vauxhall) in the flat  (This all took place on March 13th, so it perhaps has escaped Daily Mail coverage on account of the impending court case.)  The drug dealer was jailed for six years on Monday.  Various Tweeters have been asking "where" in Kennington this took place.  My best guess is that it was somewhere close to Kennington Park, but I'd rather not say more on account of the family's safety.  I really can't decide whether the chap in question was very brave, or somewhat mad, but he achieved the desired effect somewhat more quickly than the "keep a log" suggestions from the police.  Only, umm, don't try this at home, unless you're a "south London boy" who can "look after yourself" or you might y'know, be stabbed or shot or something!  There's an additional report in The Evening Standard.

The US State department showed off plans for their embassy in Battersea to a crowd of US architects late last week.  There's an excellent article about it here.  What hasn't been noted prior to now is that the State Department were tasked with finding the "smallest site, that met our needs, that we could afford."  Shows that they must really love the idea of being based in Vauxhall, eh? :)  Apparently, the building is designed to show off the three American virtues of transparency, openness and equality, except that, erm, it has to be utterly impenetrable.  Difficult to do, unless you're allowed to build your own moat, I suppose!  What's not clear, when they speak about "public realm" and the park outside the building is whether they mean "Vauxhall public" or "the American public that happen to work inside the building".  I like the idea of a new park over there, but not sure I want to be relaxing with friends under the watchful eye of the machine-gun toting police.

If you're interested in art, there's an exhibition by Lisa Yuskavage in the Greengrassi/Corvi Mori art gallery (1a Kempsford Road, SE11) which feature slightly odd images of the female form/psyche with a better review here.  Additionally, the Camera Club in Bowden Street are digging Politicians from the 1970s out of their archives (7th June - 25th June).  More info about the exhibition is on the Kennington Association blog.


Beauty and Health Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beauty and Health Editor said...

Yes, I read about this story in the Evening Standard yesterday. It was very funny and I was laughing on the bus.

He could be cast as the new James Bond, posing as a drug dealer and then beating up the henchmen.

The police as usual want ordinary citizens to do the work that they are getting paid to do. "Keep a log." What a load of rubbish. Surveillance is supposed to be their job.

matt mcConnell said...

To be fair to the new embassy, not many projects are tasked to find a needlessly large site and waste a ton of money - even if that's what they end up doing.

And I'm not hopeful that there will be much new public green space - it is a functional building afterall - but at least it's not destroying any greenspace and can't help but improve the aesthetics and security of the immediate local area.

SE11 Lurker said...

Matt, I do agree re. the wasting of money. It's just the way it was put! It didn't seem very subtle :)

I can't see that the Embassy will be a bad thing for the area. Indeed, the presence of the embassy might contribute towards a positive decision from TFL re. a Nine Elms tube stop between Kennington and Battersea. The Embassy would certainly be an improvement for the area as it stands (although if you've ever driven past the Mayfair embassy and had a gun put through your car window; as has a friend of mine, you might not be so keen).

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