29 November 1888
A Kensington correspondent writes to the Standard describing in indignant terms the state of things that prevails in the locality of Nottinghill-gate and Shepherd's-bush, and the surrounding districts. It appears that the main Uxbridge-road and neighbouring thoroughfares are infested with gangs of roughs and tramps, who make it their business to follow every unprotected woman of respectable appearance they meet, and endeavour to intimidate her into giving them money. This sort of thing, says the writer, goes on not only in the evening, but in broad daylight, his housekeeper having been followed and insulted by two ruffians in Uxbridge-road, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon of yesterday.
"As to the off-streets," he continues, "I can truly say that I never walk from my house to the station (five minutes) without being stopped at least four or five times by sturdy and threatening 'beggars,' male and female." This very unpleasant condition of things is ascribed to the system which provides a constant relay of recently liberated thieves and vagabonds from Wormwood Serubs Prison, and to the other system which has taken away nearly all the police of the West-end to concentrate them in the vicinity of Whitechapel." The cause of the unpleasant incidents recounted is of little consequence; it is evident that a very serious nuisance exists, and the inhabitants of Kensington will be perfectly justified in bringing pressure to bear on the authorities to have it remedied.