Names have been changed to protect the people involved.
Members from the Word Up! Newspaper were out doing charity work trying to raise money and promote our paper. We were in Balham High Road between Sainsbury and Boots. There was four of us there. It was February 12th 2011, between 2.30 and 3pm. Some of us were on the opposite side of the street. Two of us were chatting and laughing just being happy to be out doing the charity work for our paper.
At about 10-15 minutes later Susan went to the other side of the street to meet with a friend. Becky came over to see how I was doing. We were chatting and laughing. At this point some lady who is my neighbour’s daughter came from around the corner and came right up into my face shouting “why are you laughing at my mum, my mum is 66 years old” which the lady kept repeating, her eyes were rolling round. I was very afraid and said “we are not laughing at your mum, we never saw your mum. I said, “leave me alone and stop picking on me and go away”.
The next minute the dad came, he bent down put money in the box he then stood up and said to Susan “Are you the black girl who is laughing at my wife”?.
Susan said “no I do not know your wife” the man opened his jacket, took his phone out and took a photo of Susan. Julian then said it’s against the law to take photos of people”
I then stood between the man and Susan. Becky also stepped in. Susan was very upset as the man said that she was laughing at his wife, and that he was going to report her to the police. Susan was shocked and upset because she did not know who the man’ wife was. She said that she had enough and wanted to go home.
We all went to McDonalds to try and calm down. We all talked about what had just happened, as we wanted to get our statements right before reporting it to the police. We went to the Youth Court to make the report but it was closed. Julian phoned the police and told them what happened, he was given a crime number, we all went back to Julien’s house to have a cup of tea, his brother came and we told him what happened, he then explained to Becky about our neighbour and the problems we have always had with them over the last 14 years.
Susan At first I did not want to go to the police as I wanted to keep it to myself as I was afraid.
A few days later I changed my mind and fate that I was thinking I better go to the police. Because if I did not go to the police my mind would keep thinking about it. Becky and I spoke about going to the police she then came with me. We arrived at the police station and the police officer took my statement which he typed on the computer.
I told the officer about the incident which took place in Balham High Street on February 12th 2011. I also gave the police officer my name, adders and phone number and he said that he would get in touch with me. I was given a crime number.
The police officer rang me a few days later saying that there was nothing that they can do as the man did not hit me. If the man had hit me that there would be a case.
He said I should ring back if somebody attack me . I said “that’s it”, he said goodbye.
The police came to my house the next day but I wasn’t in. They left a message with my brother s saying they would give me a call to speak to me about what had gone on. We both spoke the police on the phone and they asked what happened and I told him. We told the police the harassment has been going on for 14 years by the people next door. The police told us there is nothing else they can do because it is an issue between neighbours. They can put it on file.
I decided to go to the police station with support a few weeks later and do another statement.
I leave it so long? I said I did call and spoke to the police right after the event. She said there wasn’t a report on the computer. She said there was just a phone log of a report on the computer. She said there was just a phone log of.
She talked to another member of staff and he said this could be put together with Susan’s file as a crime under Section 5.
I asked what will be done and she said it’s out of my hands now but the Neighbourhood Watch can do more. She gave us a crime number and a telephone number to use for emergencies. Through the day I was ringing and ringing but it was engaged. Finally I got through to someone and the man said he would send me a letter. The man from the neighbourhood team said he can help us and he seemed very concerned and had a good chat with my mom.
The next day I phoned him. The answer phone came on and I left a message. They have not rung me back yet so I am still waiting. I feel alright but I need to watch myself when going out because I do get nervous.