Police: ‘How we caught the Battersea moped thieves’

Inspector James Ellis reports on the arrest of local moped thieves – plus investigations into Winstanley Estate arson and stabbing 

We set up Operation Cerebus to combat the growing problem of moped theft. A team of officers targeted a small group of youths we felt certain were committing the crimes.

We received several calls from you, members of the public that have helped us over the past few weeks. I am pleased to report that seven arrests have been made with several stolen bikes restored to their owners.

On the morning of July 15, two robberies were committed by persons on stolen mopeds on Battersea Park Road. Numerous officers swamped the area and eventually three excellent arrests were made and two stolen bikes recovered.

Two of the individuals were found by the Op Cerberus team hiding under beds. One of them, a 15-year-old boy from the Patmore Estate was already wanted by Police for breaching his Court Bail and was supposed to be at Court that morning for sentencing for an earlier offence of Aggravated Vehicle Taking. He never turned up as he was out stealing again.


This time he was charged with Attempted Robbery, Theft person and Handling Stolen Goods (a stolen number plate and a stolen moped) and kept in custody to appearing at Court the next day.

The Court let him out on bail again, which he breached only days later before stealing another bike on the 21st July.

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Why was the Winstanley Estate built?


I was excited to find this 1938 ‘Britain from Above‘ photograph – the first time I’ve seen the houses that Winstanley Estate replaced.

This is how the same Winstanley area looks today – not one building remains from 1938.


Wandsworth council recently announced a regeneration plan that will demolish much of the estate over the next decade – including 700 homes built in the 1960s and 1970s.

When the above aerial photograph was taken in 1938, the Winstanley area was already earmarked for slum clearance. Then wartime bombing shattered thousands of Battersea homes. Continue reading

Winstanley regeneration is about building communities, not just homes

Wendy Speck on the Kambala Estate

Latchmere Labour councillor Wendy Speck

Guest post by councillor Wendy Speck

Regeneration to me is about building homes and a good, safe community people are proud to live in.

It is not that long since the riots in Clapham Junction, when the whole community was unsettled and we, as local councillors have worked hard in Latchmere and in the local community to see how we can make things better for our local residents.

We have worked to keep our local library and community hall open (which meant being active on the local Friends of York Gardens Library Committee) and the planning group for the Big Local Lottery funding, which covers some of the area, taking part in meetings and activities of many local groups and so on, so they were encouraged to see their area prosper.

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Winstanley Estate regeneration: 10 problems – and how we can make it a success

(Speech to Wandsworth council, December 2013 – starts at 31.30mins)

I think this crucial regeneration project has begun well, thanks to hard work by staff and consultants, co-operation between political parties and, crucially, engagement from local people. Who have, so far, backed the most bold option put in front of them.

It is a mighty challenge now for the council to sell the benefits of potentially demolishing 700 homes and replacing them with around 2,000 new homes – perhaps a billion pounds of new housing – on that estate.

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The Wall in the Head: Why money alone can’t help our worst estates

Speech to Wandsworth council, May 15, 2013

This council created modern Latchmere, the ward I represent, and we got it wrong. We built streets in the sky where neighbours fear to stop and talk. Designed estates with few shops and no jobs – in some cases literally with walls around them.

We had a tenancy policy that – coupled with a misguided Right To Buy scheme – has concentrated the borough’s most troubled families in the same places.

As I told this chamber in my maiden speech, I joined the council to change Latchmere, not keep it the same.

Since I made that speech in 2010, on the Winstanley and York Road Estates, six young men have been shot and one stabbed to death.

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Read all about it: Wandsworth’s housing crisis hits the newspapers

My recent blog post Analysis: ‘Wandsworth fixes rents by elections not economics’ led to quite a lot of interest from the press. Not all of the coverage was balanced, but it has helped to draw attention to an important issue:

Private Eye Article

Private Eye, March 22 Continue reading

9 things your local Labour Party did for you this year

Here is what your local councillors, Tony Belton, Wendy Speck and I, have achieved in 2012 with the help of volunteers and local residents:

1 Helped to save York Gardens Library, again

Harriet Harman MP celebrates with local mums in York Gardens Library

Harriet Harman MP celebrates with local mums in York Gardens Library

Local Labour councillors are proud to have led the community campaign that saved York Gardens Library last year. But to keep the library open we now need to:

  • Raise £70,000 in room hire each year – please book a room if you have a birthday party or special occasion
  • Make sure local children use the computers, the free homework club and GCSE Success tutoring

I was very impressed on recent visits to the library to see dozens of children from the local estates benefit from the free Maths and English tutoring supplied by GCSE Success. One local mother I invited to the House of Commons had a chance to explain how these volunteer tutors had given her daughter the chance to following her dream of becoming a lawyer.

Visit www.saveyorkgardens.com for more information.

Unfortunately, this year we failed to stop York Gardens Adventure Playground being demolished, having previously stopped Wandsworth charging children £2.50 to use adventure playgrounds.

IN 2013 WE WILL work with parents and the council to ensure a top-class new playground for York Gardens is in place for the spring.

2 Worked hard on the £60m estate regeneration for Winstanley and York Road

Tony Belton, Wendy Speck and Simon Hogg on the Winstanley Estate

Councillors Tony Belton, Wendy Speck and Simon Hogg on the Winstanley Estate

The Kinghan report into last summer’s riots concluded that the Winstanley Estate is in the worst 1 per cent of places in the country to grow up as a child. We are pleased that Wandsworth has agreed to make a huge investment to regenerate the York Road and Winstanley Estates. We stood for election in 2010 on a promise to improve our estates and we will stand again in 2014 on the same promise. Labour will ensure residents’ interests are put first in the regeneration, meaning:

  • Full consultation with the community
  • Construction jobs for local people
  • All social housing to be replaced, with residents guaranteed a chance to return
  • Estates should be given mix of housing types and tenures
  • No overall loss of play space or parks

IN 2013 WE WILL continue this work and link it to the £1m Big Lottery Funding that will help renew our community as well as the buildings we live in.

3 Supported Battersea’s community gardens

'Dig for the Dodd' at the community garden

‘Dig for the Dodd’ at the Doddington Estate roof garden

Labour councillors have supported the growth of community gardens all over Battersea this year: from securing £5,000 in funding for the Doddington Estate Roof Garden, to helping in the Falcon Estate garden and working to set up a Kambala Estate community garden. More information at Facebook.com/doddingtongarden.

IN 2013 WE WILL dig deep to help the brand new Kambala garden come into bloom. Contact green-fingered councillor Wendy Speck (wspeck@wandsworth.gov.uk) to get involved.

4 Led the fight to save our local police stations

Earlier this year, Battersea Labour Party used a freedom of information request to uncover the disturbing fact that Lavender Hill Police station has “in principle approval for disposal in 2012/13”. Not only did Tory councillors refuse to join the campaign to save the police station, they accused us of ‘scaremongering’ (see video above).

By December, the Evening Standard reported that almost half of London’s police stations were to close to the public. Wandsworth’s top policeman recently predicted: “The front counters at Battersea, Tooting and Putney High Street [police stations] would close”.

Tony, Wendy and I know what a crucial role Lavender Hill Police station played in finally ending the riots at Clapham Junction last year and we will do everything we can to keep it open.

IN 2013 WE WILL ask every Wandsworth councillor to choose between supporting the police station cuts and supporting community campaigns to save our police stations.

5 Backed local businesses and job-seekers

Cllr Simon Hogg (left) and Levi Roots at the Big Local consultation

Councillor Simon Hogg (left) with local businessman Levi Roots at the Big Local consultation, which attracted 400 local residents to discuss the future of Latchmere

2012 was a very tough year to run a business in Battersea – and unemployment continued to rise. We stood up for local businesses that were flooded and facing high business rates and worked to help stallholders set up in markets and employ local youths.

We strongly supported Wandsworth’s new jobs brokerage scheme that will match local candidates to the job opportunities coming up in Nine Elms. We also backed the W.O.W  Enterprise Club which helps lone parents set up their own businesses.

NesetSabirLocal businessman Neset Sabir (left): “Councillor Simon Hogg helped me when my basement flooded and when my mopeds were stolen. I trust him.”
IN 2013 WE WILL continue to boost local entrepreneurs and help job seekers get the skills they need

6 Action on parking: Made bailiffs return a car to Clark Lawrence Court that had been wrongly towed away…

…secured the release of a clamped vehicle by challenging the council’s contractor and supported a council crack-down on Blue Badge fraud that has caught 441 cheats.

IN 2013 WE WILL support a freeze in the cost of a residents’ parking permit, as we did in 2012

7 Action on housing: Got the council to repair entryphones at Pennethorne House and Culvert Road, the pavement at Ashley Crescent, the map at McDermott Close…

Wendy Speck on a visit to discuss local issues on the Kambala Estate

Councillor Wendy Speck on a visit to discuss local issues on the Kambala Estate

…a leak in Holcroft House, a broken door in Dungeness House, negotiated a payment extension for Inkster House residents who faced a 200 per cent increase in service charges. We also pushed the council to agree empty homes should from now on pay fair Council Tax and spoke out on the housing crisis facing young people facing high rents and mortgage deposits.

IN 2013 WE WILL help constituents made homeless by the housing benefit cap and prepare for the effects of the next round of housing benefit cuts.

8 Celebrated the Overground arriving at Clapham Junction

Martin Linton on Platform 2 at Clapham Junction: The long wait for an Overground train is over!

Martin Linton on Platform 2 at Clapham Junction: the long wait for an Overground train is over!

Thanks to tireless work by former Battersea MP Martin Linton, local people can now take the Overground Line from the new Platform 2 at Clapham Junction to Clapham High St (8 mins), Peckham (15 mins), Surrey Quays (24 mins), Whitechapel (33 mins).

The wonderful new line that opened in December links up to Canada Water (for Jubilee line services to Canary Wharf and Stratford), Clapham High Street (for Northern Line services to the City and the West End), Highbury & Islington (for Victoria Line and National Rail services) and Shoreditch High Street (for the City).

IN 2013 WE WILL continue to lobby for improvements to Clapham Junction, surely the worst-designed major station in Britain.

9 Opposed over-development

Model of the Nine Elms development, from Battersea Power Station up to Vauxhall

Model of the Nine Elms development, from Battersea Power Station up to Vauxhall

Too often Wandsworth council puts the interests of property developers over the interests of residents. Another legacy of Martin Linton’s time as Battersea MP was stopping the construction of 42-storey towers at Clapham Junction and the Ram Brewery site.

This year Tony, Wendy and I met architects, planners and members of the public to:

  • Discuss the public benefit of developments on the Prince’s Head pub site on Falcon Road, the Peabody Estate and the Travis Perkins site on Battersea Park Road.
  • Stop developers behaving antisocially during construction: we were recently appalled by reports that concrete was being laid at 3am on the Battersea Reach site, with the council’s full knowledge! This Christmas morning I was woken at 7am by construction work from another site.

And a few of the other issues we tackled in 2012…

Councillor Simon Hogg listens to ideas for improving the local area

Councillor Simon Hogg listens to ideas for improving the local area

…Arson attacks in Fairchild Close… Planned extension for Falcon Road Mosque… Council cutting lollipop ladies… Big Local Lottery funding… Bed Bugs in Penge House… New windows for Sporle Court… Gun crime in York Gardens, Falcon Road and Pennethorne Square… Need for more CCTV on Maysoule Road… Lack of teenagers’ facilities on Battersea Fields Estate… Discussion with former Health Secretary Andy Burnham about the future shape of the NHS… Public appeal for PlayStation equipment at the STORM youth club…

Will Martindale presents the PS3 games and controllers to STORM

Local Labour volunteer Will Martindale presents PlayStation3 games and controllers to STORM youth club: The computer equipment was donated by local families

Free chicken, facepaint and £1,000,000: Hundreds of local people come to awesome Winstanley consultation

This post features material by Syeda Islam, Helen Garforth and Sandra Munoz

Residents young and old came to York Gardens Library on Thursday, June 14 to share their thoughts on how best to make a positive difference to their neighbourhood. More than 400 people contributed to this energetic and well-organised community consultation on how to spend a Big Lottery Fund grant of £1,000,000 over the next 10 years.

Local children take part in the consultation

Local children take part in the consultation

The guests, in bright sunshine, were greeted by the Falconbrook School Steel band and the Sacred Heart Choir, in the lovely gardens in front of the library.

The place was buzzing with various stalls and activities brought by local organisations – in the Library and also at Providence House, the Adventure Playground, and Pennethorne Square. A smoothie bike was available for all to “exercise” their way to a healthy drink.

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Man shot on Winstanley Estate: What can we do?

The crime scene, Fowler Close

The crime scene, Fowler Close

A young man was shot and wounded in York Gardens on the Winstanley Estate on Thursday at around 2.15pm. Information from the council says the victim is in a stable condition – his injuries are not believed to be life threatening (although the Wandsworth Guardian reports he is “in critical condition”). Other information:

  • Trident has taken on the investigation and enquiries are ongoing to trace and arrest the suspect(s)
  • Police will be undertaking re-assurance patrols throughout the weekend
  • Weapon sweeps will be undertaken in the local area
  • Much of the area – including York Gardens Library was taped off as part of the crime scene all afternoon
  • Police are looking for two suspects who were seen on a black motorcycle prior to the shooting. Witnesses saw the motorcycle made off along Plough Road, turning left into York Road.
  • Anyone with information or witnesses are asked to call the incident room on 0208 785 8589 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. Continue reading