Ilford boy, 11, ‘too scared’ to return to park after mugging

An 11-year-old boy has been left “too scared” to go to the park on his own after being mugged for his mobile phone.

Asher Chowdry was stopped by a pair of teenagers as he left South Park, Ilford, on his way home to Gordon Road on Wednesday.

He says a teenage girl grabbed his bicycle as he rode along, before her male friend told her to take the phone from their victim’s pocket.

The pair then made off into the park.

The St Peter and Paul’s Catholic Primary School pupil said: “The girl grabbed my bike by the handlebars and brakes and said it was hers, and that I had stolen it from her. Then the boy indicated to the Blackberry phone in my pocket and she grabbed it.”

He added: “I was really scared because I didn’t know what they wanted. I was shaken up and now I won’t go to the park on my own, which I liked to do.”

Asher said he had previously seen his attackers in and around South Park, together with other teenagers. When his parents called police they trawled the area looking for the pair without success.

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Asher’s mother, Shazia, 40, said the police must do more to make children feel secure in the area over the summer holidays.

She said: “I am shocked. The neighbourhood here isn’t safe any more, and the police and council need to do something to change it.

“It’s not fair on us as parents and it’s not fair on the children because they need to go out and feel safe.

“Where will this all stop? We can’t keep them indoors all day.”

The news comes just days after South Park won a coveted Green Flag Award for safety and cleanliness for the first time.

In September, the current parks police will be scrapped and replaced with a team of Metropolitan Police officers who will patrol the borough’s open spaces.

A spokeswoman for Redbridge Police confirmed the incident was being investigated.