Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Channel 4 filming in Deptford High Street

A researcher working for Channel 4's Dispatches (October Films) contacted Crosswhatfields last Friday to get some gen on the betting shop situation in our high street. Last night he let us know they would be filming this morning and were looking for locals to speak to camera in a bit of vox-pop to include in a half hour piece they are doing on betting shops, antisocial behaviour and the 2005 Gambling Act.

Michael Crick (Political Correspondent and co-founder of C4 News and ex-editor of Newsnight) was doing the interviewing and Dame Joan was coming at 11am to speak about the problems betting shops are causing in our area. It was a bit late notice to contact people who might want to air their views on record, and those not at work today weren't overly keen to speak to camera, fearing repercussions. The shopkeepers we spoke to later said they hadn't been approached – except one who spoke to them but hadn't wanted to be filmed. Another worried that all the bad press was not good for business.

A local who met up with the crew just before 1pm was told they already had enough footage. The production team have since told us they "had an extremely productive day". The film is scheduled to broadcast on 18th June.

Later today, in the afternoon heat, men were openly dealing drugs opposite Paddy Power, despite (or perhaps because of) the recent drugs bust there. Meanwhile, the street drinkers were gathered in the sun on Reginald Road near the side entrance of Paddy Power, marking the first of their open air summer season parties (which go on every day till the betting shops close). A junkie was begging with his dog outside Greggs and yesterday, there was a rumpus when a couple of shoplifters met with some strong resistance at a pound shop in the vicinity, and were seen off with the help of other shopkeepers (police turned up too late).

Last week, some local residents had a meeting with representatives of Paddy Power and Ladbrokes, convened by New Cross Safer Neighbourhoods Team. The residents wanted the bookies to reduce their opening hours and install some security guards – suggestions which met with blank looks from the bookmakers, who are incapable of admitting any real responsibility for the disturbances and crimes caused by their businesses. The onus remains on the police.


  1. I thought Dispatches specialised in undercover work? That would come in handy here. Obviously no one wants to stand in front of a betting shop and slag them off!

  2. It's not clear – Is the entire programme about Deptford High Street or are they covering other blighted (as in betting shop blight) areas as well, please.

    Plus can you keep us posted about future meetings with residents and betting shop people, thanks.

  3. The next meeting is 18th June, Anon.
    Waiting for reply from October Films.

  4. i think the problem is with the system.To understand the root of the problem a very major question should be asked.How come bookmakers got planning permission to open so many betting shop?