Belsize Park dubbed the new Bronx after crime wave
- Credit: Archant
Belsize Park has been branded the new “Bronx” after a spate of violent street attacks.
Residents fear the area is becoming lawless with criminals taking advantage of cuts to local policing.
In an incident last Tuesday, a middle-aged man was punched in the face and had his nose smashed by a thief trying to steal his bicycle in Belsize Terrace.
A police spokesman said: “The victim spotted someone fiddling around with his locked bike. He went to stop him and the suspect punched him in the face and broke his nose, before running off.”
Hours later on the same day a woman was violently mugged in nearby Lyndhurst Gardens.
You may also want to watch:
As reported in the Ham & High the female, in her mid-30s, was grabbed around the neck by a man who pushed her to the ground while his male accomplice pulled a ring off her finger. Both men ran off after the incident.
Neighbour Jon Russell, a member of Belsize neighbourhood watch, came to her help after hearing her screams. “She was incredibly distressed and screamed for some time,” he said.
- 1 Lane closure scrapped after high pollution readings double
- 2 Falling stonework narrowly misses outdoor diners at Crouch End cafe
- 3 British fencing great Richard Kruse announces retirement
- 4 Owner mourns Highgate station’s beloved black cat
- 5 Hampstead man jailed for pub 'revenge attack' on Jewish Tory barrister
- 6 Haringey Council leader ousted by rival in Labour group vote
- 7 Hampstead bakery sells challah hearts for Mental Health Awareness Week
- 8 New Indian restaurant Ritu to replace Yasmeen Kitchen in St John's Wood
- 9 Camden shouldn't ignore residents, but we need low-traffic neighbourhoods
- 10 Obituary: 'Striking and beautiful' north London mother Mary Collins
He claims she was left hiding in fear in her apartment as police took up to an hour to arrive - a claim which they deny.
Officers say their log shows they arrived within 15 minutes.
These latest attacks follow a shocking incident on April 2, when a Canadian tourist was left unconscious and drenched in his own blood after being headbutted in the face in Lancaster Grove, in Belsize Park. Former UN diplomat Zakaria Fellah, 49, who lives in New York, needed eight stitches and says he is now facing a £3,000 dental bill to fix his cracked front tooth and bone.
Mr Fellah, who is staying with a diplomat friend in Belsize Park, was alarmed to hear of the recent attacks. “This neighbourhood is getting more insecure every day. It’s becoming like the Bronx,” he said.
He says he feels safer in New York, where he has lived for 26 years .
Author Barbara Bisco, of Belsize Crescent, a native New Yorker, said: “New York has certainly become safer than London now due to its zero tolerance crackdown on crime and London is becoming less safe as the police are, shall we say, more lax and cuts have had an effect.”
Belsize Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Roger Montgomery said: “The police here are very stretched. There just aren’t enough of them for these kinds of crime.’’
His neighbourhood watch colleague Jon Russell added:
Former Hampstead councillor Chris Knight said: “Criminals know Belsize has rich pickings and think they can get away with it.”