Schoolchildren targeted as teenage gangs rampage in Highgate muggings crime spree

A series of muggings were reported in Highgate with teenage gangs targeting schoolchildren. Picture:

A series of muggings were reported in Highgate with teenage gangs targeting schoolchildren. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A month-long mugging crime spree in Highgate has seen schoolchildren targeted by teenage gangs.

In one incident a boy was on his way home from school when three teenagers surrounded him at the junction of Wood Lane and Muswell Hill Road at 4.15pm on December 1, according to a monthly newsletter from Highgate’s neighbourhood officer.

The trio, one of whom was wearing a balaclava, demanded the pupil hand over his belongings and threatened to beat him up if he didn’t let them search his pockets. However, the gang failed to take anything.

In a second incident a victim was approached by three suspects who dragged him to an ATM and forced him to take out cash at 7.50pm on the same day. In a third attack on December 3 in Highgate Wood five men slapped their victim in the face and threatened to knock him out if he didn’t hand over his possessions.

Another victim was slapped and had money taken from his wallet in a fourth mugging in Church Road on the same day.

And another victim was punched before escaping from two youths, one of whom was wearing a mask, after they demanded he hand over his mobile phone at the junction of North Hill and Church Road on December 11.

Four further attacks were reported in Highgate last month including one in which seven teenagers dressed in black puffa jackets threatened to stab their victim before trying to drag him to a side road near Southwood Lane. The gang punched their victim before fleeing.

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On the crime spree Highgate neighbourhood watch coordinator Cindy Jackson said: “When is this going to end? I used to be afraid to go out by myself at night but now you have to be on the alert in the day. These crimes continue because people are not getting caught. It’s out of control.”

Highgate Liberal Democrat councillor Liz Morris described the robberies as a “new style” for Highgate with gangs of teenagers targeting younger victims.

“It is clearly a cowardly crime to rob these children. We have around 4,000 children attending school in the area so I am worried Highgate has become a target for this type of crime. I am extremely concerned,” Cllr Morris said before confirming she would be asking neighbourhood police teams if they can increase patrols at home time.