Video Vigilante

By Rob Last edited 160 months ago
Video Vigilante
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With the violent death of 24-year-old bank manager, Saad Mohiuddin, still fresh in everyone's minds, the Independent have been out on patrol with the man who caught the whole thing on video camera.

Ian Wilder is 58-years-old accountant who has been out on the streets of the West End, recording anti-social scenes for six years now. His love of the West End comes from the fact that his grandparents set up a tailors in Dean Street after arriving here from Poland, and that his parents also lived in Soho.

Wilder wants the area to be the "gleaming centre of the greatest capital in Europe.".

The Independent article follows Wilder on his moped to the offices of the parking attendants who police Westminster, who tell stories of 'code red' attacks and racial abuse. Then it's off to a 'major fracas' on Piccadilly Circus, where "a group of black and Asian men are involved in a scuffle with some heavily inebriated white men."

Then it's back to Whitcomb Street where Mohiuddin was killed, and where there is "ample evidence of drug-dealing".

Just after 2am in Leicseter Square it's getting noisy ("There is a huge amount of noise. Wilder looks up at The Thistle Hotel. 'I don't know what you'd think if you'd paid for a room there,' he sighs.") and finally, at 3:30am the duo travel down to a spot outside the Cirque nightclub on the Charing Cross Road which is "a favourite place for a knifing".

Wilder is also a Conservative politician who wants to develop one side of Leicester Square with "two five-star hotels, a rebuilt Empire cinema, residential property and the lion's share of a roof garden running from the Charing Cross Road to Piccadilly Circus." But he sees his street crusade as fundamentally non-political.

Whether it will actually have any real effect outside the curiosity of the braodsheet media remains to be seen

Last Updated 12 May 2005