"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Somali Youth Centre Upsets the Neighbours

This story concerns rowdy Somali youth using khat, which is not illegal in Britain, at a youth centre in South Norwood.

Most of the comments on the article are sympathetic to the 'plight' of the youths, with no mention at all about legitimate worries and why anywhere in Britain should need a Somali youth centre.

From This is Croydon:

A bid to allow a community centre to continue to operate in South Norwood has antagonised neighbours who say youths under the influence of a legal drug are causing mayhem.

The Somaal Youth Association, which was set up to offer young Somalis in Croydon a place to come together, is hoping to be given formal permission to run its youth club and activities centre in Portland Road.

But critics have accused the centre, which has already been operating for around four months, of promoting anti-social behaviour and use of the hallucinogenic drug khat - which is banned in most European countries but not the UK.

Although the Somaal Youth Association admits many members do chew khat, it denies claims of bad behaviour, and says it would be happy to meet with people who are worried about the application.

Chairman Abdi Mahamud said: "This thing is needed by Somalis, there are a lot of young Somalis who live around South Norwood.

"A lot of Somali youths are deprived of something like this, where they can come and watch football and socialise in the evenings."

Mr Mahamud, 25, feels "victimised" by the opposition.

He said: "I think people see groups of young black youths and think the worst.

"But we are looking to organise a meeting so people can come in and find out about what we're about and what we're doing.

"We want to get on well with our neighbours."

Asked about use of khat, which has been likened to ecstasy by drug experts, Mr Mahamud said: "It just makes you chill out.

"It doesn't cause anti-social behaviour. But in the long term we are trying to stop it, we don't want people to make it into a negative thing about us."

The retrospective application is expected to be decided on by Croydon Council next month.

When neighbours learned of the bid to get the centre sanctioned, it sparked a petition calling for the plans to be rejected.

Hasan Murtada, who lives nearby, said: "The petition hasn't been done for no reason, it's been done because it's a nuisance.

"We shouldn't have to put with this. My girlfriend can't even go down the shops because she is being intimidated."

Councillor Karen Jewitt, who represents the Woodside ward, is backing the residents opposing the community centre.

She said: "They've opened it up without any permission, and I've been getting loads of complaints about people using khat.

"There's a lot of people hanging around outside there.

"The one thing people are frightened of is that this will make them seem racists. That's got nothing to do with it, it's just that they're worried about this."

Sergeant Dave Humphrey, who heads the Woodside Safer Neighbourhood Team, is well aware of the centre.

He said: "We've been policing it as often as we can. Whenever we've been down there, there haven't been any problems.

"Khat isn't illegal, so there's not much we can do about that."

So, it looks like rowdy behaviour is predictably a problem there too.

Khat might not be illegal, but i think importing large numbers of Somalis should be.


Anonymous said...

It's funny that you will NEVER hear about such a preposterous occurrence in the U.S. Somalia are the scum of the universe, and should not be allowed to infest civilised nations. Here in the U.S somalis are universally despised as they are nothing short of trash. When they act stupid they go to prison, where they quickly discover hoe weak the really are.

Anonymous said...

Its obvious who is the scum of the universe. People like you full of hate and racist views should not allowed to infest in civilized nations.