Ham and High editorial – Music Palace could be new “trouble spot”

Following the shooting in Muswell Hill, the Ham and High warns that Tottenham Lane could be next – we are inclined to agree with them

Warning shots in nightclub dispute

It is just a touch ironic that as Haringey Council prepared to adjudicate on the controversial plan to turn a former Crouch End music venue into an establishment for erotic dancing, a nightclub just up the road has been sprayed by gunfire, resulting in a night of panic for everyone who was inside at the time, and bullet wounds to two men and a woman.

The incident is being investigated by officers attached to Trident, the specialist Met Police Unit set up to investigate gun crime in London’s black community. It is not often that Trident officers are required to visit Muswell Hill, but it is because of its rarity that this incident is so deeply worrying to residents. Can we now expect more of the same in the future? is the question many of them will be asking.

There is, of course, no connection whatsoever between the Hill nightclub in Muswell Hill and the Music Palace in Crouch End. In fact, very few complaints were ever registered about public order in and around the Palace [Bar Rocca is a completely different matter! -ed.] But perhaps that is because, unlike the Hill, it failed to attract consistently large numbers of customers. Indeed its lack of success as a bona fide music club is the reason its owners want to try something completely different [their marketing plan was certainly ‘different’, ie no marketing at all! – ed.]

But what is relevant is that Muswell Hill residents living close to the Hill have often voiced concerns about safety, especially after closing time, and a number of serious incidents have been reported. Some would say that this is an incident waiting to happen. While shocked by the extent of the weekend’s violence, not too many people in the neighbourhood will be surprised that a serious gun crime has now taken place, realising their worst fears. Sometimes, residents know best what is good for an area [this is the quote of the last few months for me – ed.]

There are many people who object to lap dancing in Crouch End on moral grounds [although Lapoff has never based its campaign on this as it is not admissable under the four licensing criteria – ed.], and many more who fear that it will bring an undesirable element into the area. For others, it is a combination of both. But Muswell Hill residents, who have watched with concern as one particular nightclub became a magnet for trouble makers, will no doubt feel entitled to warn against the creation of another trouble spot a mile or so away.

[Editor – this proves that it is very, very hard to close these venues down, even if they are a constant source of trouble. Despite this firearms incident, no doubt the Hill will be opening its doors this weekend, causing residents in the local community even more disruption and danger to innocent passers by, whose freedom to walk the streets is eroded because the club owner’s ‘right’ to make a profit is put above the safety and wishes of local people. Local businesses in Crouch End have worked hard to build up a certain vibe and atmosphere which is why so many families want to move here. Don’t let one man’s ambition to destroy all this win the day – COME ALONG TO THE CIVIC CENTRE NEXT THURSDAY EVENING].

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One Response to Ham and High editorial – Music Palace could be new “trouble spot”

  1. siobhanny says:

    Great post, I’ll come along on Thursday evening for sure. It would be awful if this went ahead although it amazes me that there is no one rich enough (or croooked enough!) in Crouch End to put a halt to it… anyone?

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