Warnings issued as teenage gangs continue to target children in Highgate and Muswell Hill
- Credit: Archant
Pupils are being warned of the dangers of being mugged at home time as they continue to be targeted by teenage gangs.
Advice given in assemblies by safer schools police officers based in and around Highgate and Muswell Hill came in a week when a schoolboy was mugged by two teens dressed in hoodies in Hampstead Lane, Highgate.
The attackers took the boy’s mobile phone after confronting him at about 4pm on Wednesday, January 24. It is believed the youngster was not injured.
A spate of attacks carried out by gangs was reported to police in December last year. In one case a young victim was dragged to an ATM and ordered to hand over cash by three thugs. Another victim was punched before escaping from two youths, one of whom was wearing a mask, after the pair demanded he give up his mobile phone on December 11 at the junction of North Hill and Church Road. Extra policing has been put in place around school sites when muggings get reported.
Officers have also launched an undercover operation with plain clothes officers patrolling Highgate and Muswell Hill using stop and search to target suspects.
Haringey Det Sgt Odabashian said attacks are “sporadic” and carried out by a “loose gathering” of youngsters whose crimes are organised but executed in a “chaotic” way – with some attackers pulling out knives.
Haringey police’s Det Sgt Odabashian said the force had its eyes on “several” youths suspected of targeting pupils.
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He said: “Our latest operation is already having a positive impact.” He added officers treat robbery “very seriously” and operations carried out by Haringey police have led to 90 arrests with 53 charges which have led to jail sentences of up to 12 years.
Highgate Cllr Liz Morris said: “The problem is Highgate is the only area in Haringey that doesn’t have any CCTV cameras which means identifying offenders is much harder – that is not acceptable. Together with our police team I am pressing Haringey Council to install CCTV cameras to make Highgate safer.