Recent Street Robberies

  • 26 Oct 2010 10:00 PM
    Message # 451744
    Deleted user

    We have all been troubled by reports of street robberies and snatch thefts in our area.  There have been occurrences in St Michael’s Road, and particularly worrying attacks in Groveway, Stockwell Park Road and Lorn Road – particularly worrying because of the scale of actual or threatened violence and the intimidation by groups of 3-6 young men who are the perpetrators.

    The Police are well aware of the problem as all the incidents have been reported, and both they and I are greatly heartened by the immediate response of nearby residents who have come to the aid of victims, in more than one case chasing off the attackers.  They deserve the thanks of us all.

    There has been a sudden spike in such incidents locally in the last 4 weeks.  The Groveway / SPR attacks have all occurred between 8pm and 1130pm, but not specific to any day of the week. It is expected the situation will worsen, with clocks going back on 31 October, the usual effect of worse behaviour around Halloe’en and Guy Fawkes Nights, and the impending release from prison of some habitual miscreants.

    The perpetrators of the ‘mob’ attacks are the Gas Gang, a notoriously violent group of black 14-18 year olds (but physically big and look older) who live to the east of Brixton Road.  One member has been charged with the murder at Park Campus School a few months ago.  Another has been arrested for mugging Army cadets as they left the TA Centre in Flodden Road, after being caught on CCTV.  The Robbery Squad, a pan-Lambeth unit is actively involved.  But it is a process of attrition – arresting individuals as they are caught in the act on CCTV.

    Whilst there is extensive CCTV coverage of our neighbouring estates and main roads, there is none in the Conservation Area as the residents voted against it (on civil liberties grounds) when the major networks were being installed some 10 years or so ago. 

    There is one thing we can do (confirmed by the Police): if you see a group of young males acting suspiciously call 999.  Explain we are in a high risk street robbery area and a response vehicle should investigate.  Give the number of people observed, the direction in which they are going, and what makes you suspect them e.g. they may appear to be following somebody or loitering and looking closely at passers by.  The 999 operators are civilians and not always willing to react to such calls, but even if no response vehicle is sent at least the call will be on record and give the Police intelligence on where and when suspicious activity has been observed.

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