a week in the life of brixton's angell town: a unique insight into a hidden world of gang violence and community - external cctv camera housing
It was a warm afternoon when the ice cream truck stopped at the angle Town estate and announced its arrival with the music outbreak.
The driver opened the shutter for business.
But there is no clap of small feet. Nobody came.
A police car rushed past the manor.
But when the ice cream car was defeated and the siren retreated, the street naturally became silent.
We were only eight years old.
A few minutes walk from the vibrant city center of Brixton, the street is there to pump water, but the town of angle is very quiet and you can hear the sound of pins falling.
Where are the children?
Why is the street abandoned?
An official at the Lambeth Council described it as "like the moon planet ".
Desolate like a ghost town.
There is also a reputation for being really noisy.
Metropolitan Police rate it "red" on the gang matrix, the worst classification ".
It has a long history of gang violence, is home to the infamous GAS gang, is short for guns and shantytowns, and before them is a terrible Community Development Council or poor children.
More than half of the property lives in poverty.
The Ministry of Community and Local Government classified it as "extreme poverty" and "one of the poorest areas in the country ".
In short, it is a kind of real estate that outsiders are afraid to enter.
But to get to know the mindset of young people in angle town, you have to master its geographical location as it is like an inland country surrounded by almost Other estates: Myatts Field in the north, the west side is Stockwell Park, and the east side is Loughborough.
In addition to this, there are more chain Real Estate
Moorlands and Mount tules.
There are many violent gangs like gas in these estates.
Names like ABMAll Bout Money), TN1 (Tell No-one)
, 67 s and Siru-
To be frank, who is "in a state of war" with angle town ".
I went to angle town for a week this summer to find out what it was like to live in a troubled estate.
Before I arrived, my master, Lorraine Jones, told me a story about three young men.
It's called squirrels, laughter and enthusiasm.
I can't get rid of my thoughts.
The thing is this: "The squirrel was sitting in the car in angle town and saw his friend chasing his laughter with a knife.
The squirrel jumped out to protect the laughter, but INSI then attacked the squirrel, stabbed his heart with a knife, and killed him with a punch.
It sounds completely surreal, but it's too real.
The squirrel is Lorin's 20-year-Old son Dwayne.
"I have seven children," she said softly. "There are six on Earth and one in heaven.
In angle town, although it is very bad to say, the life of the elderly is often longer than that of the young.
Lorin, 42, is a single mother and church priest with great dignity, but she seems to embody the division of the manor in her own family.
Her 16-year-old son Malachi has just received a Royal Russell scholarship of £ 17,000. a-
Croydon's one-year independent school and her 18-year-old chef daughter Sukanah used to work at Buckingham Palace where she made the Queen's salad.
However, Dwayne is dead, and her 26-year-old son, Tyrone, is also accused of drug use in prison --Related crimes.
Starting with a single mother, I will extend my stay to three familiesof-
Six Golda Mochia, then moved to Lorin, ending with pastor Rosemary mallet in the parish of St. John, the Evangelical Church in angle town.
I didn't expect that within seven days, there would be the kind of drama that cost Devine's life.
It turned out that I was wrong.
Entering the town of angle is to cross the invisible threshold.
The estate is built in the interior, so it feels completely closed, like a town in a town.
On its border, there is a church with a knife barrel to admonish passers-.
Through: "Seize the knife and live a life.
You then come up and down from a narrow passage that was once called "murder Lane" and appear in a community center that has been blocked by planks and marked with pellet holes.
This is the so-called boiler room because it used to be a boiler for heating the manor and later became a youth club.
Until 2012, the Commission closed it due to gang violence.
However, as you look around you will find the unexpected appeal of this estate.
It is clean and well maintained, not forbidden high
It has the tower of human rise. scale, low-
A pleasing rising block.
Fifteen years ago, when Dora Bota, a Crusader resident, the manor was completely rebuilt (now deceased)
Led a campaign to dismantle elevated sidewalks that have become a hot spot in crime.
The town of angle has been transformed and has won favorable comments on urban design.
When I went deep into the manor, every 100 yards or so there was a CCTV camera spinning and following me as I passed.
Someone is watching me. site operator.
I soon felt as if I had entered an open prison.
It was already noon when I got to the front door of Gerda. “Welcome!
She said she smiled and motioned me into her dark living room, wearing ripped jeans and blue slippers with blue nail polish. “Have a seat!
We're sorry we didn't have a couch, "she apologized, giving me a dining chair with plastic still on.
"We had a couch with a mouse in the back, so we threw it out.
Golda, 41, is studying the hotel management section
She was at the London School of Business and Finance in Chancery Lane, but there was no college that day and she was washing clothes.
Her father, a diplomat from Ghana in Israel, named her after Israeli Prime Minister Gorda Mel, but when he died, her life has changed dramatically. She came to London to live with her mother.
She was a wild child who was expelled from school and married when she was young.
But at the age of 30, she left her husband and lived with three children in a place where she provided shelter for abused women.
She said that in 2004, the Lambeth Commission had offered her the first tenant to become one of the newly rebuilt maisonettes in angle town, but she insisted. “‘No way! ’ I told them.
"I don't live in angle town!
I know someone who was stabbed at school.
Is Gerda happy she gave in?
"Yes, no," she said . "
"As a mother, you are worried about gangs, and the police are also worried if they are not gangs.
She pointed to her shabby front door.
"This is a photo of the police at dawn --
I searched my house this year.
"They smashed it down, captured us, searched my home, found nothing, and left on the grounds of my son's school's 'wrong police intelligence.
I was with six injured children.
"We are not criminal families.
I just happened to live in a manor where something happened.
Golda received a formal apology letter from her son's school principal.
The letter seen on the standard explains that her 13-year-old son, Yaseen, is a "runner" of a gang and that her son Yaseen was investigated and found to be false, however, the school police liaison officer mistakenly handed over the charges to Brixton police, triggering a raid that should not have happened.
The tension between the residents and the police was the subject of repeated occurrences during my stay.
The 53-year-old local pastor, Crouch Douglas, warned me: "angle town needs a release valve, otherwise it will explode like Ferguson [sic]scene of anti-
Police riots in the United States.
It's like an abandoned island.
The house was great, but very quiet as everything in all the communities had disappeared and all we had left was a field War.
However, it must be said that the work of the police is very difficult.
Later, I spent the day with people the locals call "underwear --plain-
Look at things from their perspective. AT 3.
At 30 in the evening, we hurried to pick up Mary, the youngest three sons of Gorda.
Rose, four, Justice, five, Angel-
Christie, nine, is from elementary school.
On the way home, the judge found an ice.
Cream van shouted excitedly, but Golda touched his hair with his hand affectionately and said calmly, "Judge, close your eyes.
He did not protest.
She turned to me and said, "soft
Start at 1.
I can buy a box of Cornettos from Iceland.
When I got home, Gorda had spicy chicken and rice for dinner.
Tristan and Yasin, 14, returned home, but instead of going out to play, they walked around in the kitchenette.
I asked Jason why he was not playing at the Manor.
"I don't know anything about what to do," he said . ".
"I walked out of the house.
There is nothing to do.
Sometimes I see the kids doing it.
So I went back inside.
That's why I'm not outside.
Golda took me to my room and gave me a quick visit to their maisonette.
"I slept in a bed with my youngest three," she said . ".
I took her double bed on the first floor and it was hard to understand how they adapted.
"We slept on the bed sideways," she explained . ".
"My feet are hanging on the side.
Two teenage boys sleep on the bed in the next room
Li, 16, is the oldest, she has a spacious room on the top floor and she gave up generously for me.
But my stay means Gerda-
Lee moved to the bunk and Yasen and Gorda made five in bed together.
I feel guilty enough when I sit on Golda, but make things worse --
Li's bed, the base collapsed.
"Don't worry, sometimes this happens," Golda said . " He barely blinked and added: "Golda-
Li will sort it out later. ” (
Finally, we forgot to ask her that I would spend the night trying not to roll down the bed that has become a gently reclined one. )
After dinner, Gorda suddenly announced: "I want to buy this house, David.
Foxtons says it's worth half a billion.
"Forget that Brixton is a crime zone and I'm sitting on a gold mine!
"But how can she raise the deposit when she works 16 hours a week as a part-time job?
The hairdresser and her income are mainly from work tax credits and child benefits?
Her eyes were wide open. “I don’t know!
At Brixton, they tried to move people like me out and bring people like you in --
Doctor lawyer Reporter
"Because even if Brixton had drugs," she smiled evil, "they liked drugs.
Her face was covered.
"If we owe our rent, they will drive us out.
However, she said she was proud of her lack of debt.
"Except for the gas bill," she added . ".
"No one charged me for gas for years, so I didn't pay, and then they caught up with me and said I owed them 5,000.
We have 1 m now and I have 8 automatic defaults for every 10 I put in and only 2 for gasoline.
Suddenly, we heard a cry of sorrow coming from the street: "Gerda, can I have a biscuit ? "
Abdul, 16, is a friend of Gerda.
Lee and one of several young people asked Gorda for food and support. (
The next morning I will find Abdul lying in a sleeping bag on the floor of the living room. )
Later, a few biscuits were eaten in Abdul of the plumbing Academy, and a slight twist occurred on the street, followed by two policemen at the door.
When they left, Gerda pointed to a CCTV camera 50 yards away.
"Once we get out of the front door, we will be monitored," she said . ".
"That's why some kids don't like to go out.
You feel violated.
One of these CCTV cameras, in the-
Climbing the paint and protecting the spikes, sticking out of it a deflated, punctured football --
Apparently, it was sent to CCTV as a funny "two fingers up.
Many residents, however, told me that they welcomed CCTV because it turned out to be an effective deterrent to crime.
I was about to retire at eleven o'clock P. M. when three gang members passed by and asked for a hot plate of chicken and a glass of non
Super malt alcohol.
They call Gorda "mother" or "aunt" and Gorda calls them "surrogate sons" and the reason she helps them is that "society has given up on them ".
Ronny, 21, was jailed for a knife, Quinton, 17, was kicked out of the student referral unit, and Shaquille, 21, served six months for robbery.
It turns out that Shaquille is a well.
Famous underground rap artist
His short name is MDargg or M, his rap video
Usually high with other
Introduction: Rapper Sneakbo, Stickz and Griggs in angle town-
It has received more than millions of views on YouTube, and has even been cited by international stars such as Drake.
Some of the videos were taken in angle town, with dozens of local young people wearing a black hoodie.
"We are gas gangs, but gas is no longer our current rock 150 block," Ronny said . "
"Rocks are not as bad as natural gas," said M . "
I asked rockblock if he committed a crime.
"The crime you're talking about?
I challenge me.
I said, "robbery . "
"We are not going to do government robberies, just friends between friends," he said . ".
So they robbed young people like them?
"As long as people come from other estates," he said . ".
But what's the point of robbing other people who are equally poor?
I seem to be really taken aback.
"I know it sounds silly, but we don't get along well," he said . ".
"This is what happened.
Life is boring for us.
It's the same every day.
Nowhere to go, nothing to do.
Just go out and play music.
It is normal for people of our age to go to prison.
"I mentioned that the luxurious studio and wendoush square were great places to hang out, but he just laughed.
"Dem location in Brixton, New York!
Not where we are in Brixton.
Ronny added: "Brixton, New York, is out of business.
If gang members from Angel Town set foot there, someone would call us and we would be hit.
"Our property is hated by other properties.
We can't cross the Brixton Road because the other side is Stockwell Park [Estate]
This is a big "no center" sign.
"So, these big-ass rappers who make music videos that beautify guns and spread them, are even afraid to leave their manor?
"We won't leave except for the show, just like a sold out show I got in Birmingham," M said . "
"We can go north safely, but not South.
This is the case.
Gerda shook his head in frustration.
"My little sons respect these children!
How will they go beyond this and escape the gang life?
"I try to tell these boys that it's not normal.
They are not bad boys, they have such a talent!
There are things we need to do to get them to benefit in our community and to get them to the positive side.
"The next morning, I went out to explore what facilities were available in the manor for young people since the youth center in the boiler room was closed.
The core of real estate is "robber" or MUGA (multi-use games area)—a run-
The football field in the cage I walked past several times.
With the exception of a 21-year-old, Timon Dickson, he is often found playing on the fence, which is almost deserted.
"It's not safe to play," Timon said, pointing to a piece of falling rubber surface, revealing rough asphalt.
He said he and some of his friends launched a campaign to lobby the Lambeth council to set up a suitable astroturf stadium to allow young people to play "a normal football match ".
However, it is not only the stadium that is desolate.
There are 33 major closed business units around.
Some churches are occupied by evangelists and have no contact with the residents of angle town and are open several hours a week.
Lambeth Council receives £ 150,000 a year from these units, but none of them are invested back in real estate.
Residents of angle town do not have a shop to buy a pint of milk or bread or a community center where they can meet.
I went to Kamika Nathan, 36, a single mother of five children and a friend of Golda, who launched a voluntary group called "My London" to address
She wants to broaden their horizons by arranging a visit to the Science Museum and large free spaces in cities such as Hyde Park.
Kamika did a community development course at Birkbeck and only needed to rent-
In order for her plan to work, I was in the real estate office with her colleague Mary Ennis to ask if they could use their meeting room as the base.
"You may be charged," they were told . ".
Kamika was angered.
"But we offer free service to children in the community!
There are similar problems with Lorraine.
In honor of Dwayne, she set up a boxing group and a vibrant youth management committee to advance the campaign, however, her request for the Lambeth council to use a commercial unit on the manor as a base was ignored.
It seems a shame that all this energy has been weakened.
Pastor Crouch Douglas, 53, one of my assistants in London, said she was worried about where things would go.
"Angle town needs a release valve or it could explode like Ferguson," she warned . ".
"It's like an abandoned island.
The house was great, but very quiet as everything in all the communities had disappeared and all we had left was a field War.
But for residents, there are also some uncomfortable facts to face.
I passed by the priest's house and asked Pastor Mallet: where is the father?
Why are there so many single mothers who rely on state financial support?
It seems to be the dominant culture.
Three absent fathers of Gerda gave birth to six children, none of whom seemed to have contributed.
I met several teenage mothers at the Manor and they were repeating the cycle again.
"Some of our young women have children because they are looking for someone to love and they think it will free them and let them have children in poverty," she said . ".
"We call it" Dolly syndrome "when girls have such small children that they really transfer their feelings from dolls to real live babies.
As for the father, she said, "many of them, too many, are in prison ".
However, we have reason to remain optimistic.
"Our teenage pregnancy rate here is one of the worst in Europe, but the situation has improved, driven by Lambeth's education.
I am also comforted by the fact that many single mothers in this estate, such as Kamika, are ambitious and determined to make themselves better.
She was trying to teach four that night when I got back to Geer-year-old Mary-
Go up to 100 when Justice insists "I can count to 1,000-
What annoys Gorda is that it also proves this.
Everything seemed quiet in the manor. It was 11. 30pm.
Gorda got up early the next day and put on Tristan's school uniform.
He was chosen to host his school concerts and Angels-
Christie will perform with her class at the South Bank Center.
This is an important day for the Mochia family, where Golda plans to go to college and then watch their performances.
When she sent me to Lorraine's house, there was no sign of unhappiness and I was going to spend the next few nights there.
Gerda walked over to meet some young people standing nearby, but I knew she had collapsed.
Lorraine ran over.
"What's going on? ” she shouted.
Gerda made a painful cry: "Gora was shot!
She could hardly say these words.
"They said Gora was dead.
The 24-year-old Ogala Dickson, known as Gora, is a friend of M and one of the boys Golda is considered a surrogate son.
He is also the brother of Timon, a football player I have met.
Lolin held Gerda in his arms.
"You calm down, Golda. I want to find out the facts.
She came back a few minutes later and her lips trembled.
"It seems that he was shot dead at the Manor last night.
He is at King's College Hospital.
"When will it stop? ” wailed Golda.
"Someone died yesterday and today, how can you talk to them?
Said Lorraine calmly but urgently.
"Golda, we must keep a positive attitude.
He may be fighting for his life now.
We must pray for him.
We must find out the facts.
The second part of our special investigation
Life and Death on the property-
You can read here.