Lambeth Town Hall
|Population||78,536 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Charing Cross||3.8 mi (6.1 km) N|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||SW2, SW9|
Brixton is a district of South London, England, within the London Borough of Lambeth. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.
South London is the southern part of London, England. Situated south of the River Thames, it includes the historic districts of Southwark, Lambeth, Bankside and Greenwich.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Lambeth is a London borough in south London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha and in 1255 as Lambeth. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station, though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London.
Brixton is mainly residential with a prominent street market and substantial retail sector.It is a multiethnic community, with a large percentage of its population of Afro-Caribbean descent. It lies within Inner South London and is bordered by Stockwell, Clapham, Streatham, Camberwell, Tulse Hill and Herne Hill. The district houses the main offices of the London Borough of Lambeth.
Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the interior part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. With its origins in the Bills of mortality, it became fixed as an area for statistics in 1847 and was used as an area of local government from 1855 to 1965 principally as the County of London or earlier as the Metropolitan Board of Works Area (metropolis). It now has two common definitions. The first is the statutory definition delineated in the London Government Act 1963, coming into force on 1 April 1965, comprising twelve Inner London boroughs and almost identical to the County of London that was abolished at the same time. The second is the current definition used by the Office for National Statistics comprising eleven of the statutory Inner London boroughs and two of the statutory Outer London boroughs, and the City of London.
Stockwell is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 2.4 miles (3.9 km) south of Charing Cross. Battersea, Brixton, Clapham, South Lambeth, Oval and Kennington all border Stockwell.
Clapham is a district of south-west London lying mostly within the London Borough of Lambeth, but with some areas extending into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth.
Brixton is 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south-southwest from the geographical centre of London near Brixton Underground station (Victoria Line).
Brixton is a London Underground station on Brixton Road in Brixton in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London. The station is the southern terminus of the Victoria line. The next station is Stockwell.
The name Brixton is thought to originate from Brixistane, meaning the stone of Brixi, a Saxon lord. Brixi is thought to have erected a boundary stone to mark the meeting place of the ancient hundred court of Surrey. The location is unknown but is thought to be at the top of Brixton Hill, at a road known at the time as Bristow or Brixton Causeway, long before any settlement in the area. Brixton marks the rise from the marshes of North Lambeth up to the hills of Upper Norwood and Streatham. At the time the River Effra flowed from its source in Upper Norwood through Herne Hill to Brixton. At Brixton the river was crossed by low bridges for Roman roads to the south coast of Britain, now Brixton Road and Clapham Road. The main roads were connected through a network of medieval country lanes, such as Acre Lane, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton Water Lane and Lyham Road, formerly Black Lane. It was only at the end of the 18th century that villages and settlements formed around Brixton, as the original woodland was gradually reduced until the area was covered in farmland and market gardens known for game and strawberries.[ citation needed ]
Surrey is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.
Brixton Hill is the name given to a two-thirds of a mile (1 km) section of road between Brixton and Streatham Hill in south London, England.
Lambeth is a district in Central London, England, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Charing Cross. The population of the London Borough of Lambeth was 303,086 in 2011. The area experienced some slight growth in the medieval period as part of the manor of Lambeth Palace. By the Victorian era the area had seen significant development as London expanded, with dense industrial, commercial and residential buildings located adjacent to one another. The changes brought by World War II altered much of the fabric of Lambeth. Subsequent development in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has seen an increase in the number of high-rise buildings. The area is home to the International Maritime Organization.
The area remained undeveloped until the beginning of the 19th century, the main settlements being near Stockwell, Brixton Hill and Coldharbour Lane. With the opening of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816, improved access to Central London led to a process of suburban development. The largest single development, and one of the last in suburban character, was Angell Town, laid out in the 1850s on the east side of Brixton Road, and so named after a family that owned land in Lambeth from the late 17th century until well into the 20th.
Coldharbour Lane is a road in south London that leads south-westwards from Camberwell to Brixton. In total the road is over 1 mile long with a mixture of residential, business and retail buildings - the stretch of Coldharbour Lane near Brixton Market contains shops, bars and restaurants. Between the junctions of Coldharbour Lane and Denmark Hill in Camberwell SE5 and Coldharbour Lane and Denmark Road lies part of the boundary between Lambeth and Southwark boroughs. The other end of Coldharbour Lane meets Acre Lane in central Brixton to form the A2217.
Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge, built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. The original bridge was built on the site of a former ferry.
Central London is the innermost part of London, in the United Kingdom, spanning several boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics, urban planning and local government. Its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally, nationally and internationally significant organisations and facilities.
One of a few surviving windmills in London, built in 1816, is just off Brixton Hill and surrounded by houses built during Brixton's Victorian expansion. When the London sewerage system was constructed during the mid-19th century, its designer Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated flows from the River Effra, which used to flow through Brixton, into his 'high-level interceptor sewer', also known as the Effra sewer.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.
The River Effra is a former stream or small river in south London, England, now culverted for most of its course. Once a tributary of the River Thames, flows from the Effra were incorporated in the Victorian era into a combined sewer draining much of the historic area of Peckham and Brixton.
Brixton was transformed into a middle class suburb between the 1860s and 1890s. Railways linked Brixton with the centre of London when the Chatham Main Line was built through the area by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in the 1860s. In 1888, Electric Avenue was so named after it became the first street in London to be lit by electricity. In this time, large expensive houses were constructed along the main roads in Brixton, which were converted into flats and boarding houses at the start of the 20th century as the middle classes were replaced by an influx of the working classes.
By 1925, Brixton attracted thousands of new people. It housed the largest shopping centre in South London at the time, as well as a thriving market, cinemas, pubs and a theatre. In the 1920s, Brixton was the shopping capital of South London with three large department stores and some of the earliest branches of what are now Britain's major national retailers. Today, Brixton Road is the main shopping area, fusing into Brixton Market. A prominent building on Brixton High Street (at 472–488 Brixton Road) is Morleys, an independent department store established in the 1880s.
On the western boundary of Brixton with Clapham stands the Sunlight Laundry, an Art Deco factory building. Designed by architect F.E. Simpkins and erected in 1937, this is one of the few art deco buildings that is still owned by the firm that commissioned it and is still used for its original purpose.
The Brixton area was bombed during World War II, contributing to a severe housing crisis, which in turn led to urban decay. This was followed by slum clearances and the building of council housing. In the 1940s and 1950s, many immigrants, particularly from the West Indies and Ireland, settled in Brixton.More recent immigrants include a large Portuguese community (see Little Portugal) and other European citizens. Brixton also has an increasingly ageing population, which affects housing strategies in the area.
The first wave of immigrants (492 individuals) who formed the British African-Caribbean community arrived in 1948 at Tilbury Docks on the HMT Empire Windrush from Jamaica and were temporarily housed in the Clapham South deep shelter. The nearest Labour Exchange (Jobcentre) was on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, and the new arrivals spread out into local accommodation.
Many immigrants only intended to stay in Britain for a few years, but although a number returned to the Caribbean, the majority remained to settle permanently.The arrival of the passengers has become an important landmark in the history of modern Britain, and the image of West Indians filing off its gangplank has come to symbolise the beginning of modern British multicultural society. In 1998 the area in front of the Tate Library in Brixton was renamed "Windrush Square" to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush.
Brixton was the scene of riots in April 1981 at a time when Brixton underwent deep social and economic problems—high unemployment, high crime, poor housing, no amenities—in a predominantly African-Caribbean community.The Metropolitan Police began Operation Swamp 81 at the beginning of April, aimed at reducing street crime, largely through the repeated use of the so-called sus law, which allowed police officers to stop and search any individual on the grounds of mere "suspicion" of possible wrongdoing. Plain clothes police officers were dispatched into Brixton, and within five days almost 1,000 people were stopped and searched under this law. There was intense local indignation at this, since the vast majority of those stopped by the police were young black men. The riot resulted in almost 279 injuries to police and 45 injuries to members of the public, more than a hundred vehicles were burned (including 56 police vehicles), and almost 150 buildings were damaged, with 30 burned. There were 82 arrests. Reports suggested that up to 5,000 people were involved in the riot.
Following the 1981 Brixton riot the Government commissioned a public inquiry into the riot headed by Lord Scarman. The subsequent Scarman report was published in November 1981 and found unquestionable evidence of the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of 'stop and search' powers by the police against black people. The report made a number of recommendations and led to a new code for police behaviour in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the creation of an independent Police Complaints Authority in 1985.The 1999 Macpherson Report, an investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, found that recommendations of the 1981 Scarman report had been ignored and concluded that the police force was "institutionally racist".
The 1985 Brixton riot followed the police shooting of a local black woman, Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce, after the police had entered her house looking for her son Michael Groce. Although the Brixton area subsequently saw pioneering community policing initiatives, the continued death of young black men in police custody (and in one case the death of a man pointing a fake gun at people) coupled with general distrust of the police led to smaller scale protests through the 1990s.
The 1995 riots were initially sparked by the death of a black man (Wayne Douglas) in police custody and occurred in an atmosphere of discontent about the gentrification of Brixton.
Former Prime Minister John Major's own childhood roots in Brixton were used in a campaign poster during the Conservative Party's 1992 election campaign: "What does the Conservative Party offer a working class kid from Brixton? They made him Prime Minister."
On 17 April 1999 neo-nazi bomber David Copeland planted a nail bomb in Electric Avenue, which exploded on a market day by the Iceland supermarket at the junction with Brixton Road (Brixton High Street). Copeland was sentenced to six concurrent life sentences in June 2000. The Brixton bombing is reported to have targeted the black community in Brixton. Copeland also bombed Brick Lane, the heart of East London's Bangladeshi and Asian community, and the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, London, frequented predominantly by the gay community. The BBC reports that Copeland intended to ignite a race war across Britain with his bombing campaign.A 2009 play about the events, The First Domino , was written by one victim in the Soho attack.
From 2001 to 2004, Brockwell Park hosted the annual Cannabis Festival, or JayDay, organised by the Cannabis Coalition. The police reportedly maintained a low profile, tolerating the smoking of cannabis.In 2005 the London Borough of Lambeth rejected the application for a further Cannabis Festival on the following grounds:
"While Lambeth Council supports freedom of speech and the right to take part in a legitimate campaign, the council cannot condone illegal activities such as cannabis use and drug pushing – both of which have taken place at a previous festival held by the Cannabis Coalition. Indeed council officers monitoring the event in the past were approached by drug dealers who offered them drugs."
There is debate regarding whether Brixton's recent renaissance is regeneration or gentrification.Some believe the area has slowly undergone a process of gentrification since the 1990s and has resulted in many wealthy middle-class people taking advantage of the area's location and the thriving Bohemian art scene. However, others argue that the area is undergoing exciting regeneration. In recent years Brixton has hosted a regular farmers' market on Station Road, as well as Pop-up restaurants and pop-up shops. New art galleries, delicatessens, bars, cafes and vintage clothing stores, particularly in and around Brixton Village Market have also opened, which some believe is gentrifying the area in a similar way to that in nearby Clapham.
Brixton was awarded The Great Neighbourhood Award 2013 (covering the UK and Ireland) by The Academy of Urbanism.
In April 2015, a Reclaim Brixton protest was held by local residents and activists.
Brixton was one of the first inner-city based 'Transition Town' projects in the UK.Brockwell Park hosts the now annual Urban Green Fair, first held in summer 2007.
The Brixton Pound was first trialled at Transition Town Brixton's "Local Economy Day" on 19 June 2008. It was then launched on 17 September 2009 by Transition Town Brixton.The Brixton Pound is a local currency that is available as an alternative to the pound sterling. The first trading day of the Brixton Pound was on 18 September 2009 with 80 local businesses accepting the currency. Other towns in the UK that use their own currency include Bristol, Totnes in Devon, Stroud in Gloucestershire and Lewes in Sussex.
The Brixton Pound aims to boost the local economy and build a mutual support system amongst independent businesses by tying local shoppers to local shops and by encouraging local shops to source goods and services locally.The notes are available in B£1, B£5, B£10, and B£20 denominations and depict local celebrities such as the community activist Olive Morris and the environmentalist James Lovelock. Lambeth Council has endorsed the project, which the New Economics Foundation helped to develop.
On 29 September 2011, the Brixton Pound launched an electronic version of the currency where users can pay by text message.
A second issue of the paper currency was launched, featuring a new set of well-known people with Brixton connections: On the B£1, the Black Cultural Archives founder Len Garrison, on the B£5, NBA basketball player Luol Deng (the reverse was inspired by the Evelyn Grace Academy), David Bowie on the B£10 and World War II secret agent Violette Szabo on the B£20.
The reverse of the notes, designed by a Brixton creative agency This Ain't Rock'n'Roll, feature notable local landmarks such as the Stockwell Skatepark, public art on Electric Avenue, Nuclear Dawn (one of the Brixton murals), and the Stirling Prize-winning Evelyn Grace Academy. All four notes feature a design motif inspired by Coldharbour Lane's Southwyck House (or "Barrier Block").
In 2015, to celebrate the Brixton Pound's fifth anniversary, the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller was commissioned to design a limited-edition B£5 note.It was described as "psychedelic and political", with the front featuring bright colors and the back with a quotation from Karl Marx’s Das Kapital ("Capital is money, capital is commodities...By virtue of it being value, it has acquired the occult ability to add value to itself. It brings forth living offspring, or, at the least, lays golden eggs.")
Brixton is home to seven large housing estates: Stockwell Park Estate off Stockwell and Brixton Roads respectively; Myatt's Fields South and North off Vassall Road; Angell Town off Brixton Road on the boundary with Camberwell; Loughborough in the centre of Brixton; Moorlands Estate, situated off Coldharbour Lane; St Matthew's, located in the fork between Brixton Hill and Effra Road; Tulse Hill Estate a little further south of St. Matthews., Tilson Gardens, situated on New Park Road. The seven estates account for a large part of the Brixton residence.
Estates like the Stockwell Park Estate and the Angell Town Estate were originally designed to accommodate high-level walkways which were envisaged to link the whole of Brixton. The ground-floor garages of these estates have proved to be a major security problem.The Somerleyton Estate is dominated by Southwyck House (known locally as "Barrier Block"), a large horseshoe-shaped brick and concrete 1970s structure that backs onto Coldharbour Lane. The 176-apartment block was originally constructed in this shape to provide a noise barrier against Ringway 1, a proposed inner-London motorway that was planned to pass through Brixton and Camberwell, later abandoned.
Some housing estates have been linked with urban decay and crime. New gates and iron bars have been constructed for the Loughborough Estate around Loughborough Road and Minet Road in response to a number of murders around the estate. The Loughborough Estate is home to more than 3,000 families and a mix of 1940s low-rise buildings and 1960s/1970s tower blocks and houses.Problems of urban decay have been reported around Loughborough Junction, the catchment area for Loughborough Estate, the Angell Town Estate and the Moorlands Estate.
Brixton still features some grand Victorian housing.As bridges were built across the Thames in the early 19th century those working in the City of London and the London West End moved to south London. The earliest built development was in Washway, now Brixton Road. With the enclosing of the Manor of Lambeth, owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1806 and the opening of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816 development of terraced houses and detached villas started to line the main roads. St Matthew's Church in the centre of Brixton was consecrated in 1824, indicating a sizeable population by this time. The Rush Common enclosure stipulations dictated that the large terraced and detached houses that were built along the main roads were set back from the road, allowing for generous gardens. The windmill was erected in 1816 by John Ashby on Brixton Hill and the Surrey House of Correction, later Brixton prison, was established in 1819.
With the arrival of the railway in Brixton in the 1860s a building boom set in and Brixton developed into a major shopping centre. The first purpose-built department store, Bon Marché, was opened on Brixton Road in 1877 and Electric Avenue was one of the first shopping arcades to have electric lighting. The now famous Brixton Market began in Atlantic Road and was moved to Station Road in the 1920s to ease traffic congestion. [ citation needed ]. London Farmers' Markets opened a farmers market on Brixton Station Road in September 2009. It is open every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.Brixton Market is open every day, selling a range of Afro-Caribbean products and reflects other communities in the local area with Indian and Vietnamese supermarkets and South American butchers amongst the shops and stalls.
After the riots in 1981 a series of murals were funded by the council. The murals portray nature, politics, community and ideas. The surviving murals include the Brixton Academy Mural (Stockwell Park Walk) by Stephen Pusey (1982) showing a mixed group of young people, intended to portray the natural harmony that could be found between children of mixed backgrounds in the local schools.
Recent contributions towards Brixton's mural tradition include the portrait of Michael Johns on Popes Road by Dreph, created as part of Brixton Design Trail in September 2017 and the temporary installation of "Remain, Thriving" by Njideka Akunyili Crosby at Brixton tube station, a commission by Art on the Underground.In 2018 Dreph completed a large mural depicting Michele Obama in Dorrell Place.
The Ritzy Cinema, Coldharbour Lane, is a formerly independent cinema now owned by Picturehouse Cinemas. The building was designed as the Electric Pavilion in 1910 by E. C. Homer and Lucas, one of England's first purpose-built cinemas.
Brixton has a significant clubbing and live music scene. Large venues include Brixton Academy and Electric Brixton A range of smaller venues such as The Prince Albert, The Prince / DexClub, The Windmill, The Dogstar, Jamm, The Telegraph, Phonox, Hootananny, The 414, The Effra Tavern, Upstairs at the Ritzy, and The Grosvenor are a major part of London's live music scene.The Brixton Splash is an annual one-day street party held since 2006. The event is community run, showcasing local talent and celebrating the cultural diversity and history of Brixton.
Brixton is also home to a 1970s purpose-built skatepark, named Stockwell Skatepark.[ citation needed ]
Brixton Synagogue at 49 Effra Road opened in 1913 and closed in 1986, with the congregation then amalgamating with the nearby Streatham Synagogue. The front of the building still exists.
Brixton lies within the Anglican Diocese of Southwark.The grade II*listed St Matthew's Church, located on Brixton Green, was built in 1822 by the architect C. F. Porden in the Greek Revival style. It is one of the "Waterloo churches" built to celebrate Britain's victory at the Battle of Waterloo. St. Saviour's Church was a location filming site of Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1955, identified in the film as Ambrose Chapel.
The 1868 parish church of St Jude, located on Dulwich Road, was designed by the architect John Kirk of Woolwich. It closed in 1975, and the parish merged with St Matthew's. The church building is today used as business premises by a publishing company.
Christ Church on Brixton Road is an Art Nouveau and Byzantine-style Grade II*listed building built in 1902 by Beresford Pite,and St Paul's church on Ferndale Road was originally built in 1958 as a Seventh-day Adventist church by John Soper.
Corpus Christi Church in Brixton comes under the remit of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.
The Masjid ibn Taymeeyah, or Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, is located in Gresham Road, close to Brixton Police Station. The mosque has facilities for both men and women and space for 400 worshippers during prayer.Opened in 1990 it is one of the oldest mosques in South London. The mosque provides religious, social and financial support to its members.
The mosque made international headlines when it was reported that Richard Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber", had attended the mosque. Abdul Haqq Baker, chairman of Brixton Mosque, told the BBC that Reid came to the mosque to learn about Islam but soon fell in with what he called "more extreme elements".Zacarias Moussaoui, who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the US as part of 11 September 2001, terrorist attacks, made his initial steps into radical indoctrination in Brixton Mosque, where he met Reid, though he was expelled from the mosque after he turned up wearing combat fatigues and a backpack, and pressured the cleric to give him information on joining the jihad . Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical Muslim cleric who preached in the UK until imprisoned for stirring up hatred and later deported to Jamaica in 2007, was associated with the Brixton Mosque and began preaching to crowds of up to 500 people, but was ousted by its Salafi administration in 1993. Afterward, he gave a lecture he called The Devil's Deception of the Saudi Salafis, scorning the Salafi Muslims (especially the members of the Brixton Mosque), calling them hypocrites and apostates ( takfir ).
Brixton town centre is divided between four wards of Lambeth Council.
The area south of Brixton Water Lane and including Brockwell Park is in Herne Hill ward
Before the 1981 riot was the centre of "Operation Swamp 81" aimed at reducing street crime mainly through the heavy use of the so-called sus law, which allowed police to stop and search individuals on the basis of a mere "suspicion" of wrongdoing. Plainclothes police officers were dispatched into Brixton, and in five days almost 1,000 people were stopped and searched. The local community was not consulted about the operation and tensions between the black community and the police on the streets of Brixton reached breaking point. Local residents complained about young, inexperienced police officers being sent on the streets, provoking confrontation.
In 2003 The Independent reported that around 200 "hardcore Yardies" are based in Lambeth, some operating as members of "Firehouse Posse" or Brixton's "Kartel Crew".Yardies were historically associated with Jamaican immigrants and had a recognised stronghold in Brixton. Parts of Brixton were referred to as "Little Tivoli" after "Tivoli Gardens", a notorious "garrison community" in Jamaica ruled by gunmen. In 1999 a scandal broke over Metropolitan Police detectives allowing two known Jamaican Yardies to stay in Britain as an intelligence tool. Eaton Green, one of the Yardies, escaped bail in Jamaica in 1991 and settled in Brixton, dealing in crack cocaine. Three months later Green was arrested by a Brixton constable, Steve Barker, and became a paid informer. Green provided intelligence about Yardie activity for two years, continuing the use of firearms and the dealing of crack throughout this time.
Several gangs are headquartered in the Brixton area. The "Murderzone" (MZ) gang, which is involved in illegal drug dealing, hail from the Somerleyton Estate.The "Poverty Driven Children"/"Peel Dem Crew" (PDC) are located in the Angell Town and Loughborough Junction area. "Organised Crime" (OC), a gang linked with various shootings and an ongoing rivalry with the Peckham Boys, are based in the Myatts Field Estate. "Guns and Shanks"/"Grind and Stack"/"Grip and Shoot" (GAS) is located mainly in Angell Town.
In 2011, five of the most prominent members of the GAS Gang—Ricardo Giddings, Helder Demorais, Jamal Moore, Shaquille Haughton and Kyle Kinghorn—were sentenced to a total of 76 years in prison for the murder of rival gang member, fifteen-year-old Zac Olumegbon.
Members of local gangs are mostly in their late teens or early 20s, with gang leaders usually being childhood friends. Brought up in some of London's poorest areas some gang members reportedly move from house to house on an almost nightly basis, making it hard to track them. According to the Metropolitan Police, these youth gangs are far from organised criminal masterminds; however, they continue to evade the police and have been responsible for numerous offences of homicide. Operation Trident officers stated that it is a "struggle" to persuade local people to testify, because of fear of reprisals. Trident officers stated that some gang members were "inept at handling powerful guns", and that gangs have machine guns, in 9 mm. According to the detective many of the deactivated guns are shipped in from the Balkans and then reactivated.
Some media commentators persistently call Brixton "the drugs capital of London".Val Shawcross, Labour representative on the London Assembly for Lambeth and Southwark, runs a "Brixton Drug Crime" campaign and she states on her website:
I have been raising the disgraceful state of Brixton and the existence of an open drugs market in the centre – with the Council, Mayor and the Metropolitan police... The police, the Drugs and Firearms Unit and Transport Operational Unit officers have been undertaking long-term surveillance of the area (Brixton Town Centre) culminating in a three-day operation at the end of June to arrest those dealing Class A drugs... The police will be carrying out continuing covert operations in Brixton and patrolling with drug detection dogs. This is a long-term crackdown with the aim on cleaning the dealers out of Brixton.(retrieved July 2008)
For many decades, Brixton has had a reputation for cannabis use and the BBC has quoted a local resident as saying "People have always smoked cannabis in Brixton – everyone knows that, people have walked down the street smoking spliffs for years." This reputation was amplified by the "softly softly" police approach to cannabis that was piloted in Brixton in 2001 to 2005. Concerns were raised about "drug tourism" to the area.The "softly-softly" pilot occurred in the context of a wider debate in Britain about the classification of cannabis. Despite the pilot being stopped and replaced by a "no deal" policy, the Metropolitan Police was in favour of a reclassification of cannabis from class B to class C. Cannabis was officially reclassified in Britain from a class B down to a class C drug in early 2004. In January 2009 the UK government reclassified cannabis back to a class B drug.
In 2001 Brixton became subject of newspaper headlines due to the implementation of a pilot cannabis programme, also known as the "softly softly" approach, initiated by Brian Paddick, then Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth. Police officers were instructed not to arrest or charge people who were found to be in possession of cannabis. They were instead to issue on-the-spot warnings and confiscate the drugs. Although Paddick is credited with the idea, the pilot programme was sanctioned by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Sir John Stevens. Paddick asserts that he implemented the policy because he wanted his officers to deal with cannabis quickly and informally so that they could concentrate on heroin and crack cocaine offences, and street robbery and burglary, which were affecting the quality of life in Lambeth to a greater extent.The pilot was ended December 2005 and was replaced by a so-called "no deal" policy on cannabis in Brixton following complaints about increasing numbers of dealers openly selling the drug.
Paddick was a sergeant on the front line during the 1981 Brixton riot,an experience which shaped his attitudes about confrontational police action and strengthened his belief in community policing. In December 2000 he was appointed Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth where he worked until December 2002, fulfilling his ambition of becoming head of policing in Brixton. Paddick gained much support from the local community for his approach to policing and addressed a rally in his support in March 2002, leading Dominic Casciani from the BBC to comment:
If someone had said just five years ago that black, white, young and old, straight and gay, liberal and anarchist would all be standing together giving a standing ovation to a police commander in Brixton, people might have said they had smoked one spliff too many.
In June 1998, gun crime in Brixton was reported on widely in connection with the linked murders of Avril Johnson and Michelle Carby, in Brixton and Stratford respectively. Both women were shot in their respective homes in separate, but connected, attacks; in addition, both victims were shot in the head.In 2008 Tony Thompson, a former Time Out news editor, reported that "Gun crime began to escalate following a series of South London gang executions in the late 1990s." Thompson states that "Previous Met operations were seen as putting down the black community. Trident, from the start, was intelligence-led and had strong links with the black community."
In 2001 the Metropolitan Police raised concerns over rapidly increasing gun crime in London. At the time Lambeth had the highest rate of robberies in London. In July 2001 two armed police officers shot dead black 29-year-old Derek Bennett in Brixton, Angell Town Estate, after Bennett brandished a gun-shaped cigarette lighter. The verdict of the subsequent inquest ruled that Bennett had been "lawfully killed", the verdict was upheld in a subsequent appeal.
In December 2004 Operation Trident officers and armed officers were assisting Lambeth police in a number of stop and search operations targeting "suspected gunmen or vehicles that have been associated with firearms" and called "Operation Trident Swoop" by the police. The Metropolitan Police hoped that "the searches will deter suspects from carrying weapons and prevent shootings taking place, as well as possibly recovering weapons and leading to arrests."Superintendent Jerry Savill, Lambeth Police has responsibility for policing in the Brixton area, stated:
This operation is aimed very specifically at people we have information to suggest may be involved in gun crime or other offences. We want to send out a very clear message to those who carry guns in Lambeth, don't. It is time to stop the vast majority of people in this borough feeling afraid to be on the street and make it the gunmen who are fearful of their community helping the police to arrest them.
In September 2006 Brixton was the scene of a widely reported shooting, involving two boys being shot in the packed McDonald's on Brixton Road/Acre Lane.
In 2007 firearm offences rose by 4 per cent in London, totalling 3,459 "gun-enabled" crimes, including 30 gun murders of which nine victims were aged 18 or under. A series of gun crimes in the Brixton, Clapham and Streatham, including the Murders of three boys in one week, lead some media commentators to call the area "gun capital".
References to Brixton in song started with the release of "Whoppi King" by Laurel Aitken in 1968 and "Brixton Cat" by Dice the Boss in 1969. This was later followed in August 1975 by a popular novelty song written and sung by Geraint Hughes and Jeff Calvert (who billed themselves as "Typically Tropical"): two white men who told the story of a Brixton bus-driver "going to Barbados" with "Coconut Airways" to escape the rain of London.
Brixton is served by London Buses routes 2, 3, 35, 37, 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 196, 250, 322, 333, 345, 355, 415, 432, P4, P5, N2, N3, N35, N109, N133
The nearest station is Brixton on the Victoria line.
The nearest station is Brixton for Southeastern services towards London Victoria and Orpington.
Brixton is located on several main roads. The A203, A204 and A2217 links the area to Vauxhall Bridge and the A23 London to Brighton road runs through the area from the north to the south. Brixton was due to be a major interchange of the South Cross Route, part of the London Ringways plan, which was cancelled in the 1970s.
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Three people who have lived in Brixton have blue plaques marking their former homes:
Other notable people with Brixton connections include:
Kennington is a district in south London, England. It is mainly within the London Borough of Lambeth, running along the boundary with the London Borough of Southwark, a boundary which can be discerned from the early medieval period between the Lambeth and St George's parishes of those boroughs respectively. It is located 1.4 miles (2.3 km) south of Charing Cross in Inner London and is identified as a local centre in the London Plan. It was a royal manor in the ancient parish of St Mary, Lambeth in the county of Surrey and was the administrative centre of the parish from 1853. Proximity to central London was key to the development of the area as a residential suburb and it was incorporated into the metropolitan area of London in 1855.
Tulse Hill is a district in the London Borough of Lambeth in south London, England. It lies to the south of Brixton, east of Brixton Hill, north of West Norwood and west of West Dulwich.
Brian Leonard Paddick, Baron Paddick is a British politician and retired police officer, currently sitting in the House of Lords as a life peer. He was the Liberal Democrat candidate for the London mayoral elections of 2008 and 2012. He was, until his retirement in May 2007, Deputy Assistant Commissioner in London's Metropolitan Police Service and the United Kingdom's most senior openly gay police officer.
Lambeth was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in south London, England. It was an ancient parish in the county of Surrey. The parish was included in the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 and became part of the County of London in 1889. The parish of Lambeth became a metropolitan borough in 1900, following the London Government Act 1899, with the parish vestry replaced by a borough council. In 1965 the borough was abolished and became part of the larger London Borough of Lambeth in Greater London.
Herne Hill is a district in south London, England, approximately four miles from Charing Cross and bordered by Brixton, Denmark Hill, Dulwich Village, Loughborough Junction and Tulse Hill. It overlaps the boundary between the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. There is a road of the same name in the area, as well as a railway station.
Brixton Market comprises a street market in the centre of Brixton, south London, and the adjacent covered market areas in nearby arcades Reliance Arcade, Market Row and Granville Arcade.
The Brixton riots of 1995 began on 13 December after the death of a black 26-year-old, Wayne Douglas, in police custody. Douglas had allegedly robbed a couple in bed at knifepoint hours earlier. Trouble broke out after what had been a peaceful protest outside the Brixton Police Station where the death occurred. With several hundred people involved, the riot resulted in damage to property and vehicles in the area. Police sealed off a three-kilometre area around Brixton in south London.
The Brixton riot of 1985 started on 28 September in Lambeth in South London. It was the second major riot that the area had witnessed in the space of four years, the last in 1981. It was sparked by the shooting of Dorothy "Cherry" Groce by the Metropolitan Police, while they sought her 21-year-old son Michael Groce in relation to a suspected firearms offence; they believed Michael Groce was hiding in his mother's home.
Streatham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Chuka Umunna, who was elected as a Labour MP, but left the party in February 2019 to form Change UK. He resigned from Change UK in June 2019 and now sits as a Liberal Democrat.
Brixton Road is a road in the London Borough of Lambeth, leading from the Oval at Kennington to Brixton, where it forms the high street and then forks into Effra Road and Brixton Hill at St Matthew's church at the junction with Acre Lane and Coldharbour Lane. Brixton Market is located in Electric Avenue near Brixton Underground station and in a network of covered arcades adjacent to the two railway viaducts. The market arcades were declared listed buildings in 2009 following controversial proposals by Lambeth Council to replace them with a large US-style mall. The former "Brixton Oval" is at the southern end with Lambeth Town Hall, the Ritzy Cinema, the Brixton Tate Library and St Matthew's church. The space was renamed Windrush Square in 2010, in honour of the area's early Caribbean migrants and the HMT Empire Windrush, which in 1948 brought 492 passengers from Jamaica to London.
Brixton was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Brixton district of South London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post system.
Loughborough Junction is an area of South London, in the London Borough of Lambeth, which is located between Brixton, Camberwell and Herne Hill. It is centred on a rail junction consisting of nine railway bridges, six of which can be seen at once from the centre of the junction, and the source of this areas name is Loughborough Junction railway station; 'Loughborough' because the area was once the location of Loughborough House, the residence of Henry Hastings, 1st Baron Loughborough, which was previously the Manor House of Lambeth Wick.
The Brixton murals are a series of murals by local artists in the Brixton area, in London. Most of the murals were funded by Lambeth London Borough Council and the Greater London Council after the Brixton riots in 1981.
The Peckham Boys, also referred to as Black Gang or PYG and for now also as Zone 2, are a gang based in Peckham, South London. In 2011, Southwark Council identified three sets of the Peckham Boys, PYG, GMG and SN1, as the most active gangs in the Peckham area.
Coldharbour ward is an administrative division of the London Borough of Lambeth. It is located in Brixton.
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