A warning has been issued after students were targeted during a string of robberies.
In a joint statement, Wandsworth Police and Wandsworth Council said they are aware of several recent robberies in the borough where the victims have been children of secondary school age.
"We share the concern of parents and community regarding these crimes and are taking them very seriously," the statement read.
"A proactive police robbery team are on the case, and are working hard behind the scenes to identify these offenders.
"Police have increased patrols by Safer Schools and Safer Neighbourhoods officers in the areas affected, and the council is working closely with the police and local schools involved to monitor the situation, give safety advice and encourage parents to report any incidents to the police."
In light of the robberies, a petition was started which has garnered nearly 1000 signatures in less than a week. See the petition here viewtopic.php?f=197&t=111286&p=248452&h ... on#p248452
"We the undersigned petition the council to put pressure on schools and police to prepare a strategy and patrol key areas in Wandsworth where an epidemic of muggings are taking place, to ensure the safety of our children on their journey home after school," the petition read.
"It is essential that the spate of muggings of year 7 and small secondary school aged children is stopped.
"There is no deterrent for the older children committing these crimes as they are no being pursued."Nor are there any consequences to their actions. We cannot send the message to our children that this is normal and acceptable behaviour and we must, at any cost, ensure the safeguarding of our children on their journey to and from school."
Adding to the joint police and council statement, a list of advice was issued.
"When travelling, pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of what is happening around you," it read.
"Stick to busy areas and stay with your friends. Try to avoid shortcuts such as parks, especially late at night.
"Using headphones and mobile phones distracts you from your surroundings, so please remember to look up and look out from personal electronic devices and pay attention to those around you.
"Keep your Airpods and mobile phones out of sight: these are the items that are most commonly stolen. If you are challenged, remember that you are more important than your belongings."
If you are a victim of robbery, please report it to police on 999 as soon as possible. Details to provide include your location, a description of suspects and their direction of travel. This will maximise police chances of tracing the suspects, recovering property and providing support as soon possible after the incident.
If you would rather not speak to the police, you can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or their dedicated service for young people at Fearless.org. Both are independent from police, and you can give information anonymously.
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