South London in the year 2008, and Home Defence visits Streatham’s famous arena for ice skaters young and old, which has been entertaining the local community for over 75 years. We’re here to report on some heartening news, as the leisure complex prepares to commemorate its first month in over a year with no kind of nasty attack or unfortunate death on the premises. The rink’s reputation degenerated throughout 2007 after a 16 year old was shot dead in front of three hundred visitors at the usually fun-packed ‘Ice Rink Disco’ last February. This was followed by further assaults on skaters, knife-crime and ‘gangbanging’ all the way up until Christmas, while initial prospects for 2008 looked bleak, the rink’s New Year’s Eve party ending in the kind of mass rumble that gives ice dance a bad name. But thanks to a combination of bad weather and adolescents grounded for armed horseplay, the rink’s staff have managed to get through January without calling the emergency services even once. “It’s been a good month.” Complex manager Steed Rockefeller confirmed to Home Defence as, all around us, employees inflated balloons and stuck paper chains up to mark the occasion. “There’s been a lot of negative press around my ice rink, ever since we started finding the wounded and dead laying around on a regular basis. Some parents have even asked why we don’t implement extra security to frisk every teenager as they enter, thereby preventing further knife-play or mortal wounding. Well, that would go against the fun-packed atmosphere I’ve worked so hard to build up. Plus it would cost me money. As I told one couple who complained their six year old had witnessed a gang execution in the toilets; this business meets government guidelines for anti- terrorist measures, and that’s all we have to comply with by law. Furthermore, we’ve now gone almost a month without incident, after having to evacuate traumatised skaters some twenty times last year. I think that speak
Since the 1930s Streatham Ice Rink has been the focal point for bored youth in this, a particularly squalid and run down area of South London. The complex regularly hosts a variety of school trips, skating classes and birthday parties for local youngsters, many of which have, in recent times, ended in carnage. Indeed, some newspaper reports finger the place as a hang out for hoodies from the neighbouring SW2 and SE21 districts, many of whom will blow each other’s heads off just for living in the wrong postal code.
Despite the fanfare around this anniversary, some locals view the celebrations less than exaltedly. Spokesman
for the black community, Keiko Bonk, lives opposite the rink on the Streatham High Road, he told HDUK: “This
is a ridiculous milestone to mark, although I don’t blame the manager, he’s just out to make some Benjamins.”
At this point Mr. Bonk shook his head sadly. “But you have to question the police approach. They know full well
there’s going to be blood on the ice most weekends, but any request for an officer permanently stationed at
rinkside to watch for troublemakers or boys wearing gun holsters is turned down. The Metropolitan Police say
they ‘can’t spare the man power’. This is the same force that keeps dozens of men on standby, ready to protect
the Queen if she so much as pops to Londis remember. It’s almost like they don’t care what ethnic minorities
do to each other around here.”
In recent times London has witnessed some of the worst violence since the 7/7 bombings, much of it between gang members as young as erm, twelve or something. They’re killing each other with ‘blades’ and ‘pieces’ out on the inner city streets, willy-nilly. It’s a bad scene. Indeed, the situation has become so desperate, the press have even started to take notice, reporting on the latest black-on-black murders after the day’s obligatory double-pager on Madeleine McCann. In turn, this has increased the pressure on the police’s ‘Operation Trident’ unit to do something about the waves of tooled-up urchins, currently engulfing places like Streatham. Home Defence contacted New Scotland Yard to be told that officers were concentrating on hitting clear up targets and that; ‘arrests after the fact are better than prevention, statistically at least’. This statement was backed up by the numbers; an average of six adolescents picked up after each on-street murder, then thrown into prison for the rest of their natural lives.
Back at Streatham Ice Rink, such fears aren’t allowed to dampen the revelry, with manager Steed supervising the production of banners, and placing a notice in the Streatham Advertiser to proudly boast it’s been thirty days since the last death on his premises. As Rockefeller says: “If you want a boring skating experience, there’s always somewhere pompous like Somerset
House. My rink has far more incidents, a slight frisson of danger, and workers who can recite any number of
compelling anecdotes. So come to Streatham!”
Stop Press: Since HDUK completed this report, all celebrations at the rink have been cancelled following the fatal
shooting of a Somalian teenager in a dispute over video game high scores the Friday before last. The planned
revelry will now be replaced with a memorial service for this youth, who the police have not yet named.