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Women fight for protection against violent robbers in Temple Fortune

PUBLISHED: 16:08 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:36 07 September 2010

RECENT robberies in Temple Fortune have left women fearful and demanding help from the authorities. Last week the Ham&High reported how Lorretta Paterson, owner of Temptation gift shop in Finchley Road, was left with a deep gash to the head when she was c

RECENT robberies in Temple Fortune have left women fearful and demanding help from the authorities.

Last week the Ham&High reported how Lorretta Paterson, owner of Temptation gift shop in Finchley Road, was left with a deep gash to the head when she was car-jacked by three thugs.

Since the attack on Hallowe'en, more than 100 of the shop's customers, mostly women, have signed a petition demanding more CCTV in the area.

Ms Paterson, 50, said: "Everyone has given it 100 per cent support. It's incredible.

"People think something needs to be done. There are a lot of victims you don't hear about. I think around six have come forward to me to tell me of their own experience of being robbed."

One of those victims, from Hampstead, was mugged by a robber in her gated street last year. The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "On the day I was mugged I was just wearing jeans and flat boots. I don't wear diamond rings but they look at your nails and they can see if you are a groomed woman.

"These robbers have absolutely no conscience whatsoever. They will target anyone. The truth is we should not carry handbags or jewellery. None of us are safe."

Traders on the road are also fearful after recent events. During the summer the designer boutique Larizia was hit by knife raiders.

Simmone Polycalpou, who manages clothes store Pauli, said: "I had a customer come in here today and she said she will never wear jewellery around here any more. I don't feel safe when I leave the shop now. I move my car closer to the shop because I don't want to walk far in the dark."

Dorina Constantin, who works at Beige, said: "This area is definitely getting worse. It is about time we had CCTV. I just feel the robbers are moving up here because we are the next easy target."

Last week Barnet Council insisted there were plans for CCTV in the area but it would not be introduced until 2011. The Ham&High understands that proposals could be brought forward in response to traders' fears.

Sgt Damian Southall from Hampstead Garden Suburb Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "Our team and those across the borough are committed to reducing crime and the fear of crime.

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