As many of you may be aware, there has been an increase in muggings of young secondary school kids in our area. A lot of these have happened in broad daylight and during rush hour. Often, the victims are year 7 & 8 children coming through Clapham Junction and Wandsworth station, as well as students walking home from local schools. They are usually surrounded by a group of older teenagers who intimidate younger kid(s) and relieve them of their mobile phone and bank card -coercing them to unlock phone/remove the security code and even disclose their bank card PIN numbers. Some have threatened to have knives and apparently, in at least one occasion, one was brandished.
Concerns have been raised during community meetings with authorities as well and via petitions. The police are aware and have made some arrests or have suspects but cannot seem to do much to deter this type of petty crime.
If you have kids traveling to school on their own, could I urge you to talk to them about being careful and aware of their surroundings; maybe discuss what to do if they find themselves in such unfortunate circumstances. Please ensure they have your numbers memorised so they may reach you if they no longer have use of their phones.
Finally, could I encourage commuters to please keep their eyes peeled and intervene if they see something suspicious going on? Some of these incidents have happened in busy areas like the intersection by Debenhams/Clapham Junction during late afternoon and no one noticed or stopped to inquire what was happening.
I am posting this on a few local forums in the hopes of reaching as wide an audience as possible.
Stay safe everyone.