'The Beat', 411 Coldharbour Lane
Brixton Borough Police opens a "new heart for the community".
Report/photos by editor, 1st August 2005
With a steel band, a long, long roll call of speeches and a pile of free food, Brixton gets a new Community Police station.
The original opening date was postponed after the London bombings
The premises of the Coldharbour Lane (ahem) restaurant Pedro Keys had lain empty since it was closed down by a huge police operation on the 17th June 2004.
Straight after the drugs raid, the front was sealed off with a metal door adorned with a large sticker proclaiming, 'Another DRUG DEALER OUT of business. CRACK DOWN on drugs'
The frontage remained covered up after the opening was cancelled
When the lease came came up for sale recently, Brixton Borough Police seized the opportunity to create what they describe as a "new heart for the community."
The original opening was planned for the 7th July, 2005, but the tragic events of that day resulted in the event being cancelled.
Cheer up! It's supposed to be a happy-clappy COMMUNITY EVENT!
The rescheduled ceremony took place on Monday, August 1st, and a sizeable crowd gathered on Coldharbour Lane, which had been closed to traffic for the afternoon.
The balloons were a poignant reminder of the events of the 7th July, 2005
Now called The Beat, 411 Coldharbour Lane will be used by the Met as headquarters for a number of community organisations with resources and meetings rooms for hire by the community in general.
It will also serve as a base for the new Safer Neighbourhoods police team serving the Coldharbour community.
A flurry of speeches accompanied the event, almost all of them managing to include the word 'community' in every other sentence.
A temporary marquee was erected in the street, where people could shelter from the rain and listen to the community-tastic speeches
Here's The Met's Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson: "Your achievements under the umbrella of Operation Trident have been remarkable. The reduction in such crime has had the affect of reducing the fear, and that enables communities to get on with their lives."
The Beat opens!
Also bandying around the word community with aplomb was'Senior Advisor to the Mayor on Race Relations and Police', Lee Jasper (smoothly sidestepping thorny questions from the audience), Ros Griffiths, director of Employment Café Ltd, and Lloyd Leon, the first black mayor of Lambeth.
Once the speeches has been dispensed with and the 'street' logo unveiled, locals grooved to some thumping DJ action and dived into the free food stalls.
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