We've had the email below sent through with permission to reproduce it here - please do read and I hope it helps...
And a massive thank you to the father who sent it through - I hope he and his children are recovering from what must have been a horrible situation
Hello to everyone in the <name removed> community (I’ve used a few parents lists), and apologies for blasting an uncomfortable message.
I was mugged at knifepoint in front of our 3 kids on Tuesday afternoon (4pm), on Bramfield Road, by a single assailant on a small motorcycle. My watch was stolen, but more concerning/lasting is the trauma that I and my kids have suffered.
As I have low expectations of 1) the government reversing course to start properly funding the Met Police, and 2) the law changing to relieve police of personal responsibility in the case of injury to a suspect in a pursuit/crash, I thought the quickest and most effective way to help protect us all is to share my thoughts on how to avoid becoming a target. As a disclaimer, I’m not a police officer - just a victim of crime and someone concerned about the rise in crime in our area.
Some of my learning over the past few days:
Parents w/ children in tow: you won’t run and leave your children, and you won’t put your life in danger in front of your kids by doing something stupid (this was my case, and the case of a woman on Abbeville Road last year). You also won’t be paying attention as they scope you out.
People walking home from work, phone in hand, not paying attention. Flashy watch, bag, jewellery, etc - all obvious.
I was attacked on Bramfield Road (eastern side), a fairly leafy, relatively dark street. It may not make much difference, but I’m going to stick to the open, wide cross streets from now on (also, if there are security cameras on buildings/houses, they will be less obscured by trees). The getaway was relatively easy - he went up the other side of Bramfield towards Wandsworth Common instead of using Northcote (which probably has cameras).
What they want:
iPhones & expensive watches seem to be the most obvious to me (both are surrendered easily, and sold quickly). Diamond wedding rings are tougher to get off, so they may see that as too much a risk. My watch was off in a nanosecond and away he went.
Providing info the police after the attack:
I’ve been on the Next Door app (you should all download this) over the past few months, and picked up some tips from a PC who had posted this:
Easy acronyms to remember, A to H for a person, and SCRIM for a vehicle.
D- Distinguishing marks (tattoos ect)
E- Elevation (Height)
F- Facial features
G- Gait (The way they walk, limp, swagger etc)
H- Hair (colour, length)
SCRIM is used for describing vehicles.
Shape (saloon/pick up/van etc)
Identifying features (dents/spoilers/antennae etc)
Unfortunately, in reality you are so shocked that it’s tough to concentrate on all this! My observation skills are typically quite sharp, but in that moment the only thing I was looking at were his eyes (under a balaclava) and the 6-8inch knife he was jabbing my way. Getting a license plate certainly is important if possible, but in the end the majority of these bikes are stolen and then abandoned.
Keep your homeowners insurance up to date (if you’ve moved recently, make sure your address is correct). Expensive items over the £1500 single-item limit (or whatever your policy says) need to be specified in the “special items” section. Make sure you have all original paperwork.
***WHAT CAN WE DO AS RESIDENTS???***
First and foremost, please protect yourself.
Secondly, I, and residents on my street, will be writing letters to our local MP, firstname.lastname@example.org
, Nick Hurd MP (Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service) email@example.com
, London Mayor Sadiq Khan (firstname.lastname@example.org
), and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick (Comm.PO@met.police.uk
) among others.
I will highlight the recent increase in violent moped crime in Wandsworth and ask them to 1) properly fund the Met Police so that we can have more officers/cars on the beat rather than fewer and 2) support the efforts of Sergeant Tim Rogers (Tim.Rogers@polfed.org
) of the Police Federation who’s leading the campaign to change the law to protect police in pursuit. (See more here: http://www.polfed.org/campaigning/trained_drivers.aspx
I will also ask them to communicate more directly with local residents about the crime epidemic. I have yet to see anything outside of the nightly news.
Here’s a link to MOPAC:
https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/ma ... rime-mopac
Below are further details / data about moped crime in London and Wandsworth (from simple internet searches)
If you feel strongly about your personal security in Wandsworth, I urge you to write to those above to ask for ACTION.