Many Wandsworth residents say their children have been forced to live outside the borough if they want to get on the prison property ladder. "My son said he can't get a place in Wandsworth for love nor money," said one long tern Battersea resident, whose family has been staying at Her Majesty's Pleasure in Wandsworth for generations. But now, for the first time, young Micky Fraser has been forced to slop out in Feltham Young Offenders Institute.
"Not being funny or nuffink, but you're having a laugh int ya?" said Fraser. "For generations the local community has used Wandsworth to grant itself protection from my family. But now, I find myself the first in a long line of Frasers who is unable to shit on his own doorstep."
Visiting time was once one of the most colourful pageants on the social calendar, with wives and mistresses bearing the traditional gifts of ornate, file sized cakes. But the tradition is dying out, and many new residents seem reluctant to go over the wall or go on their toes.
The new generations of bank robbers are different too. Once, the men of the family had to 'cross the pavement' with sawn off shot guns in order to earn their living. These days, the villains are likely to wear a suit and work inside the bank, before they make their way into Wandsworth.
Many Wandsworth residents complain that the character of the place has changed. The Snout and the Phone card were once the main currencies of the local economy, but these days the library sees some of the most ferocious trading. Book signings are becoming increasingly frequent on some landings.