Violent masked robbery on Hampstead mum adds ‘urgency’ to crowdfund campaign
PUBLISHED: 10:51 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:06 12 November 2015
Hampstead residents have urgently stepped up their campaign to buy in their own police after a mother was violently robbed on her doorstep by masked men who threatened her young child.
This comes as police reveal that burglars struck in the same Hampstead neighbourhood five times last week.
Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who is spearheading a crowdfunding drive which has raised £180,000 towards paying for dedicated police officers to patrol Hampstead, said: “The situation is becoming desperate and it cannot continue. We have to do something urgently.
“This latest terrifying attack shows that violent criminals are targeting the area knowing there are rich pickings and with the current levels of policing they can get away with it.”
In the attack last Tuesday, the woman was returning home to Kidderpore Gardens with her young child at around 7pm.
Her neighbour Susan Salmanpour said: “It appears two masked men had been waiting for her and when she started to get out of her car they pounced on her.”
As she struggled they knocked her to the ground and threatened her child, who witnessed the attack, before making off with her watch and a ring.
“Luckily she was not hurt but is very shaken. Police have now told us to watch out as these people are likely to return,” she added.
PC Charlotte Roots, the only remaining PC currently dedicated solely to the Frognal and Fitzjohns ward, said she would be holding a drop-in session on Saturday at Hampstead Community Centre for residents who have been shaken by the latest incident.
She said detectives were also investigating five burglaries which took place in the Frognal and Redington Road area last week. She confirmed that most the break-ins happened during the day while the residents were out.
Ms Learmond-Criqui said people who live in the Frognal and Fitzjohns and Hampstead Town wards were still contacting her expressing support for funding their own police and pledging money from their own pockets
The lawyer, who chairs the Frognal and Fitzjohns Safer neighbourhood panel, still hopes to secure a total of £600,000 over three years to fund five PCs and a Sergeant dedicated to Hampstead.
She is meeting local Hampstead police bosses to discuss the move and is calling for a meeting with Borough Commander Penny Banham.
Once she has enough funding the group will approach Camden Council.
Local authorities can fund their own police under the MOPAC MetPatrol Plus Scheme, whereby police officers are purchased by London boroughs on a buy-one-get-one-free basis.
Police appealed to witnesses to most recent attack in Kidderpore Gardens to call 101.
A spokesman said: “Detectives in Camden are investigating an allegation of robbery that happened in Kidderpore Gardens, NW3. As a woman got out of her car she was approached by two male suspects who pushed her to the ground and stolen the jewellery she was wearing.
One of the suspects is described as a black male, in his 20s. No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”
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