BACK IN EARLY FEBRUARY, LOCAL 16 YEAR OLD LEO SHAW WROTE THIS REPORT ON THE SITUATION LOCALLY FOR TEENAGERS. THEN JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO POST IT, THE DREADFUL AND DESPERATELY SAD WAVE OF MURDERS OF TEENS AND YOUNG MEN LOCALLY AND BEYOND ROCKED LONDON. SOMETHING MADE ME HOLD LEO’S REPORT BACK, BUT IT DESERVES TO BE READ. HERE IT IS:
Primrose hill has become famous for celebrities, cute restaurants and fancy cakes. But beneath the glamourous exterior. there lies a darker underbelly.
Some may have heard of the recent stabbing of a 16 year old boy which happened only a few months ago or seen the police tape that cordoned off part of the park for a few days. It was a sign that violence can touch even the nicest parts of our neighbourhood.
Don’t get me wrong, Primrose Hill is a wonderful place, filled with dog walkers, little kids playing football and some of the best views of London. But there are also some serious dangers which lurk on top of Primrose Hill but only reveal themselves at night.
I had heard about shady characters and seen the police tape around the edge of the park but until recently all this seemed rather distant. Then on a Friday night I was walking home with a friend and we saw 3 hooded figures crossing one of the lighted paths. We thought nothing of it as there were still people in the park and we thought we were relatively safe.
As we walked across we quickly realised these hooded figures were walking towards us and before we knew it, they were right in front of us. At this point we decided to keep moving no matter what happened but the hooded figures quickly surrounded us and told us to stop walking or they’d stab us.
At this point I knew that this wouldn’t end well. We also knew there was a very real possibility of getting beaten up or worse. My friend, who is much bigger than me, started to try and talk them out of mugging us.
To be honest the adrenaline was pumping so hard, the next few minutes went by in a blur as they told us to empty our pockets and give them our phones and wallets. They were wearing scarves round their faces but one of them lowered his scarf so we could see his face. They seemed very calm and even told us what school they went to. They clearly felt untouchable.
They quickly walked away after taking our phones, a debit card and cash. Within minutes I was able to track that they had spent money on my debit card in a local shop – which happened to have CCTV footage.
We called the police – they were very nice but despite having some evidence about the muggers they don’t appear to have been able to do anything about it.
Our neighbourhood is not normally considered to be rough place and the truth is that it’s not. To many visitors it seems a sweet village within a city, filled with quaint bookshops and delicious restaurants. However, there is also a layer of nasty spite which dwells within some of the youth of Primrose Hill.
As a young person who has lived here all my life I know that my friends and school mates who live here know a lot about the darker side to the area even if we don’t talk about it much. As young people, we are more easily exposed to the darker side of Primrose Hill as we are more commonly targeted by muggers and shady characters.
In the evening there are often groups of hooded teens who target smaller groups of younger people and they use simple intimidation to get phones or cash of unsuspecting teens. Some carry knives and some just pretend they are – but the threats of being stabbed are too plausible not to take seriously.
Luckily if you look tall and are with a group of people, the chances are you won’t get stopped. However, it can still be very dangerous to walk through Primrose Hill at night.
The dangerous nature of ‘Primrose’ has evolved into a mythical story which parents will tell their kids as a warning to not go out at night. The reason I know this is that I have been told this many a time and yet I still got mugged only a few weeks ago. Now my intentions are not to scare parents living in this area but to appreciate that Primrose, despite its elegant looks, even it has a dark side and as well as enjoying living in one of the best neighbourhoods in London we should also treat it with caution.
© 2018 Leo Shaw, all rights reserved.