I have heard a lot recently about teenagers meeting up on the strip of Wandsworth Common that runs along Bellvue Road.
Apparently the availability of booze and snacks from Sainsbury's Local and Rusts and the fact that they can be invisible from the road if they base themselves about 20m into the common (ie on the shadows) is proving a bit of a draw. My youngest tells me it attracts teenagers at the weekend from miles around, Tooting, Furzedown etc.
Luckily my youngest (16 year old), having visited twice, is not that interested - and 99% seems to be harmless teenage fun away from prying adults eyes.
However a local resident told me of bottles being broken , rubbish being strewn and a in more sinister turn, older and more delinquent elements are beginning to turn up fro nefarious reasons.
Anyone heard anything about this or have teenagers involved?
Isn't getting up to no good in a park a rite of passage for teenagers?
Leaving litter, including glass, makes them indistinguishable from picnicking adults - the state of the common on a Monday after a sunny weekend is a total disgrace.
Spot-quiz: Which of these options would you like your teenager to suggest?
"Hi Dad, I'm going to my room to play on Xbox".
"Hi Dad, I'm going into Soho / Kings Road / Brixton / the pub to see some mates, we won't be drinking...honest".
"Hi Dad, nobody wants to hang out with me, can I hang out with you".
"Hi Dad, I'm going to Wandsworth Common, in the open, where everyone can see me, to meet some friends" (and probably attempt to buy a can of beer if we're lucky).
I think it's great we've got Wandsworth Common on our doorstep and our kids want to go there. Yup, would love them to pick up after themselves but I know I was a bit rubbish at their age too.
I grew up in the area and used to be one of these teenagers 15 *ahem* years ago... I completely agree with this_is_cat; if you pass the common after a sunny weekend, everyone has left it in an absolutely disgusting state for someone else to clear up. Also, couldn't agree with you more, Harbut.
I hope the fact that the teenagers choose to hang out on the grass, next to a main road, opposite busy shops/restaurants/cafes may put your fears to rest; if they were getting up to no good they would choose a different location! It's a good central location for children who go to school in Wandsworth/Putney, far less dodgy than Putney Heath!
Agree with the dad above, (Well said!) Although I worry about our teenagers, they really are at that age where there is not much for them to do or many places that they can go to relax with their friends in a group.
I live locally to the area and do see what they are up to and it is all fairly usual stuff.
My real worry is the shop on Bellevue road who, my son says, sells them all alcohol and individual cigarettes. I think this should be investigated - who do I ring? Does anyone know?
Teenagers hanging about on the common on a warm sunny evening. whatever next?
Eating snacks and trying to buy booze? I didn't do that in my day. I had a tall friend to do it for me (thanks Dave). I took my dog for a lot of eveing walks in those days, coming home with bleary eyes (me, not the dog)