Gazette letters: Police appeal, New Year message, stinky Archway, stamp costs and Christmas buses

CCTV still of man who raided Budgens, Packington Square on December 11 (Picture: Met Police)

CCTV still of man who raided Budgens, Packington Square on December 11 (Picture: Met Police) - Credit: Archant

Detectives investigating a knifepoint robbery at a convenience store in Islington have released CCTV images as they appeal for information, writes Det Cons Alex Simmons, of Islington Police.

The suspect threatened workers at the Budgens store in Packington Square on December 11 just after 11pm [Gazette, December 15].

He rifled through the main office and the staff area behind the tills, making off with some cash, bottles of alcohol and a backpack.

This was a planned and terrifying attack which left the victims in the greatest fear for their safety.

The knifeman is thought to reside locally, so we urge anyone who recognises the man in the CCTV images, or has any information that may assist our investigation, to contact Islington CID via 101.

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Looking back at the end of a year sometimes brings perspective, writes the Rev Simon Harvey, vicar of St Mary’s Church, Upper Street.

But 2016 felt different for many of us. It contained tumult and shock. The world feels more volatile and turbulent than we could have imagined. I’m hearing the words “I just don’t know, anymore!” much more than ever before.

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It helps us to realise that most of human history has been unsettled. But the 60 years since St Mary’s was re-opened after the devastation of the Second World War [it was wrecked by a bomb in 1940 and was closed until 1956] have been different – we have seen a period of relative predictability in the UK.

Now unsettled times appear to have returned. The uncertainty of a new year should feel exciting, hopeful and positive. Today, in a climate of growing anxiety, there is a palpable mood of ‘there may be trouble ahead’.

So let’s not forget that much of the Bible was written in uncertain times. When all the assumptions of predictable life are challenged, God’s people have returned time and again to the source of all life.

As St Mary’s, we have a precious opportunity, in the heart of Islington, to tell a bigger story than the shifting moods of recent months. We can testify, with a corporate memory larger and longer than most, to God’s faithfulness in times of loss and hope.

I pray that the God who was, and is, and is to come, will embolden us to witness generously and confidently. Let us hold fast together to the hope we share, with gratitude for each other.

And let us seek to draw Islington together for the common good, for justice and prosperity, for neighbourliness and social health in 2017 and beyond.

May the New Year bring peace for you and those you love.

Archway stinks, writes Trish Harvey, Miranda Road, Archway.

Too many grocers sell alcohol. Newsagents sell alcohol and drunks are everywhere!

There are too many fast food chain shops. Kids from local schools use pavements as rubbish bins.

There are no clothes, shoe or furniture shops anywhere. Every time a shop closes us locals ask for a retail shop that will benefit us but no – it’s a mini mart, chicken shop or coffee shops when we already have three in five minutes of walking distance.


Penny Oakley, of St Clement’s Court, Holloway, defends Yours Supermarket, Westbourne Road (Shop collecting profit on stamps gets caught out) Gazette, December 29.

If their price was within the law [it charged 65p for second class stamps when the official price is 55p] I doubt that few people round here would have a problem with it.

Most of us are more interested in keeping them in business than quibbling at an occasional higher price. The fact that the shop is always busy means that more people are about, thus improving local security.

The shop runs what amounts to a local public service, opening for unusually long hours, and even on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

It is clean, efficient and well stocked. They are polite, helpful and friendly, and make only minimal profits on some products. Some things are cheaper than at big supermarkets. If an item does cost more, it is balanced out by avoiding a long walk or a bus fare.

Now that the Christmas and New Year holidays are over, is it time for Transport for London (TfL) to consider operating a limited bus service on Christmas Day, writes James Annett, of Mackenzie Road, Holloway.

London must be one of the few cities in the world that has no public transport on Christmas Day. With the success of the 24-hour Tube at weekends, I am sure a bus service in London on Christmas Day would also prove a success.

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