A t our street stall on Saturday, a number of people approached us to ask about progress on the Khadar Hussein killing.
As far as the investigation is concerned, there is not a lot to report. The police have the name of a person they want to interview but that person has left the area. They seem confident that he will re-appear at some time.
We highlighted the case in our monthly newsletter. Here is a slightly revised version:
The tragic shooting of Khadar Hussein in Penge has been a terrible, painful event for his family and friends in Penge. As your local councillors, we have tried to do everything we can to reassure local people. We have met Khadar’s family and also with the young people who have been maintaining a memorial at the murder site near the former Citizens’ Advice Bureau building by Royston Field. We have also liaised with the police and the neighbouring residents to make sure that any community tension is kept low. The recent very successful Penge festival fete took place in the field and showed a dignified respect to the victim and the community.
Effect on Neighbours
Neighbouring residents are understandably concerned that the area has become a magnet for more than just a memorial and there have also been outbreaks of unacceptable behaviour. We are regularly discussing these issues with the local residents and the police. There is a difficult balance to be maintained. We need to respect the memory of Khadar and allow his friends to grieve. At the same time, we have been quite clear that any breaches of the law or disturbances should be reported to the police for them to take action. We have accepted an invitation to attend the annual meeting of the Royston Residents’ Association in the next couple of weeks.
Youth activities in Penge
The other consequence of the murder has been to highlight the lack of youth activities in Penge, leaving too many young people at a loose end. It is ironic that the former CAB building is the focus for a memorial to a wasted young life while it remains empty and available for “disposal” by the council. The only official youth facility in Penge is the Streetwise club in Anerley. It does a good job but we need more. Some churches and community groups provide activities as do the Crystal Palace football foundation but they would like to do more. Many community groups have contacted us wanting to use the building to provide further youth activities and we will be supporting their proposals at the council.
Bromley council has promised to set up a working party, which will include your local councillors, to review the issues specific to Penge and to identify ways of addressing some of the issues facing our community with particular focus on our young people.