Parents ‘living in fear’ of violent criminals targeting school run in Hampstead

06:00 12 June 2014

Jessica Learmond-Criqui and other Hampstead residents and families gathered outside the disused police station in a show of anger at rising crime on Tuesday. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Jessica Learmond-Criqui and other Hampstead residents and families gathered outside the disused police station in a show of anger at rising crime on Tuesday. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Violent criminals are feared to be targeting parents on the school run – prompting a rapid groundswell of support for a new campaign to bring police back to NW3.

More than 500 people have backed fresh calls for a new base in Hampstead, in response to a spate of violent robberies.

They have all signed an online petition launched this week after it emerged that the former Hampstead Police Station in Rosslyn Hill has been sold to the Department for Education and is set to become a free school – potentially ending hopes of restoring officers to the site.

Melissa Remus Elliot, headteacher for the past 21 years at Heathside Preparatory School in Heath Street, is one of the signatories.

She believes parents are a “soft target” now that officers are no longer based in the area.

She said: “I know of several people being attacked – all mothers dropping off children. This is horrifying and not indicative of a civilised society. Children are in danger. “Please do not abandon us. Bring back our police force!”

The Ham&High reported last week that PR worker Jo Kanter was mugged in front of her three-year-old daughter as she collected her from Hampstead Hill School in Rosslyn Hill.

Floods of comments on the online petition reveal a growing sense of alarm, much of it from parents fearing their families are no longer safe on the school run.

One said they feel “under threat” while walking their child to school, another spoke of “living in fear”, while mother-of-two Sophie Collier wrote: “There have been several reports of mums being mugged in broad daylight. This must not continue.”

The petition comes as police hunt a notorious gang of moped raiders linked to at least seven robberies, including one on a family with two young children.

On Sunday the gang struck again in Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead, stealing a £24,000 watch after brandishing a hammer and a knife at a 26-year-old man.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, the chairman of the Frognal and Fitzjohns Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, is behind the petition.

She wrote: “We are now hearing on a daily basis of violent muggings during daylight of mothers outside schools, moped ram raids of houses, hammer attacks on residents driving into their drives, violent robberies and burglaries.

“If we do not come together to make our voices heard, we are likely to endure increasing crime in frequency and violence.”

Her main demand is for “a physical base in Hampstead to house our local police officers”. She also criticises the new policing model brought in last year, which sees fewer officers dedicated to Hampstead.

A spokesman for Camden Police said officers would meet with Ms Learmond-Criqui to discuss the issues raised.

The petition can be found at

Latest News Stories

Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Neelu Berry

An activist making claims of satanic abuse at a Hampstead church could face three new charges of witness intimidation.

Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Yesterday, 15:00
Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society members. From left Amanda Carrara, Chris Currer, Mark Afford, Miriam Levin and Dave Winskill.

The fight for community ownership of Hornsey Town Hall continues, even though the council officially invited bids from developers last week.

Yesterday, 08:00
Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Yesterday, 08:00
Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder