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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Guardian Angels on The London Underground

They're back

Guardian Angels Back on the London Underground from the BBC siteI don't know how many of you remember The Guardian Angels a sort of red bereted voluntary group who used to patrol the tube in the late eighties with the aim of keeping people safe. Well, co-blogger Geoff, just emailed me to ask whether I'd seen this from the BBC's site as it looks like they're back.

"Conceived in New York, the Guardian Angels' unique brand of law enforcement never really caught on among London's reserved commuters and volunteer numbers have dwindled. But will the London bombings help finally endear them to us?" wrote William Brierley from the BBC.

"Sedleigh "Shaft" Adams signals his red-bereted patrol to move on to the Tube. Once in position he scans the carriage until, eventually, he catches a mistimed glance.

"Never smile at a Guardian Angel," he says. "That means you have a pulse, and if you have a pulse then you get a leaflet."

Sweeping through the carriage he then hands out leaflets to the bemused commuters headed: "SOMEBODY REALLY SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT VIOLENT STREET CRIME!!

Apparently "Everywhere they go the patrol is well received by London Underground staff and an intrigued public, albeit at times with thinly-concealed amusement.

"I think they're mental," comments one passer-by. "I grew up in New York in the 80s and haven't really thought about them since then."

But "the boys in the berets have a less than harmonious relationship" with our own boys in blue - "the police, who resolutely refuse to recognise the organisation. After the 7 July bombings in London, Adams admits they had to consider whether they were a "help or a hindrance" during heightened security.

However, he says the public greeted their patrols with a "heightened response" and were "increasingly pleased to see us

Personally, I really appreciated seeing them in the late eighties as there used to be a lot of them around Earl's Court and if I was on my own late at night I would feel reassured. It is certainly interesting to see that they are back (or perhaps never went away) and I wonder if we will be seeing more of them in the future?

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, September 13, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE