Raids, Raids and Raids and....
Updated: Sep 12
Saturday the Fifth in the afternoon I will always remember.
Busy handing out the Skin of Love product flyers at the front door of the shop in Tooting Market, I was completely bemused and confused as I saw a mass of police officers charging up from the Totterdown Street entrance. The market has a regular visitor a male sadly with the mental age of a five year old who can and has been problematic. He recently went into a rage complete with crutches and was in full flight to attack a lady he attended school with when I managed to intercept and tackle him to the ground. He screamed about being raped and eventually began to call names, male names. I managed to calm him down and he sat on a bench near by where by another trader came and gave him some sweets and a member of the public who regularly visits the market got down onto his knees held his hand and calmed and reassured him further. The member of public has millitary experience and has had to deal with fellow soldiers in breakdown. He calmed further and began to speak of names when another trader began tearing into him verbally about his behaviour being unacceptable which diverted him and had the wrong impact at that moment. I snapped back at the particular trader to stop and the police arrived shortly after. I have yet to be asked by them what happened even though I have since met his psychologist and head carer. Anyway, back to the raid, which I initially thought the mass of police entering the market was due to the man having a funny turn. One officer wizzed by me complete with shield and I thought that a shield was a bit too much for the disturbed man. They stopped at the area in front of a trader who I have known for some time before ever this business occupied the shop. I was confused. I witnessed at a bit of a distance a long and thorough search of his business premises, ultra thorough. I could see that he and business partner were totally confused, shocked.
Later, a sniffer dog appeared and I continued to be out of my depth with understanding what was this all about and why.
After sometime I filmed as the two business persons conected to the unit were personally searched.
The dog was lead away and I watched as its handler struggled to keep it on an outward path as it seemed very keen to go elsewhere other that intended. Shortly afterwards the search seemed to intensify with other officers in their unit and I think gloved hands went into cooked food and various seasonings. It then became aware to me that another business was being searched whem I saw more police around two stall carts used by the other business.
The end result is that one business was in possession of illegal substances and the other that I spoke of was not found to have anything illegal. The next end result is that both businesses have been asked to vaccate their units.
The future unfolds as it unfolds. What I am glad to know all the more is that our fight to do what we do goes on. Londinium, the city and Tooting, town that I grew up in from the age of four until my early thirties, is no different from most inner city multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-classed towns. Tooting is in a period of transition. Some refer to it as gentrification but it for me is just a diversion of the sign of the times. Inflation impacts and reflects itself in price rises and proprty is one such example. These are part of a whole set of challenges that we are all faced with and not forgetting the ongoing challenges with the covid 19/coronavirus scenario. Much to get on with it.