Heath patrols to increase after fisherman robbed at knifepoint

Harry Prosser

Harry Prosser, fisherman and bar manager, is appealing to Heath chiefs to warn people of the dangers of mugging - Credit: Harry Prosser

Hampstead's constabulary is to increase patrols on the Heath after a fisherman was mugged by a gang early in the morning.

Harry Prosser and his friend were getting ready to fish at the model boating pond at 4am on June 20 when they were set upon by six young men wearing face masks.

Harry, a pub manager, said a group of young men "came over the hill, all masked up".

Harry Prosser

Harry Prosser was mugged while getting ready to fish on the heath, two years after a boy who was stabbed fell into his tent in the same spot - Credit: Harry Prosser

"Six of them came round the lake, blocked off the exits so we couldn't get out and all pulled knives on us," he said.

"They actually wanted my mate's bike and then one of the kids turned round and said: 'What about you, your fishing gear, I could get money for that.'"

He said when he resisted a mugger with a T-shirt around his face said: "Do you want to get shanked (stabbed), are you stupid?"

The gang left with fishing gear worth £3,000, and the bicycle.

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He said had tried to contact the City of London Corporation (CoLC).

"They had so many opportunities to warn us all that stuff was going on up there," he said. "They act like it's a beauty spot and the most amazing place in London, but no, it's getting flipping rough."

The father-of-two added: "In September 2020 a kid got stabbed when I was fishing on the heath and he fell into my tent, just bleeding everywhere. I had to help him, call the police and the ambulance. All my gear got completely ruined, nobody's fault, people were panicking."

In June 2020 six people were arrested after a fight erupted on the heath

Harry said more emphasis is needed on muggings.

Harry Prosser

Father-of-two Harry Prosser had thousands pounds worth of fishing equipment stolen from him by a gang prowling the heath at 4am - Credit: Harry Prosser

"Even when these kids get caught they get nothing, there's no come-uppance for any of them," he said.

A spokesperson for CoLC,  said the Heath Constabulary is increasing its patrols in "popular areas of the Heath".

“As with any open space, there is a small minority who sometimes cause problems for others, but serious incidents are very rare."

Officers will carry out patrols with the Metropolitan Police and from Camden Council’s community safety team, and CoLC is working  "with schools, staff and volunteers to keep the Heath a safe, vibrant and welcoming place for all".

The Met police said there have been no arrests and enquiries are ongoing.