Thugs ‘target’ Wanstead High School pupils in a series of muggings
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Police have mounted extra patrols near Wanstead High School this week, after a series of muggings where robbers reportedly targeted students.
Pupils reported four incidents in the week before half term to police, and a senior officer and the school have issued safety advice.
Headteacher Bob Hamlyn believes students are being targeted in their uniform after leaving school.
He urged his pupils not to walk through isolated areas, not to talk to strangers and to keep valuables out of sight.
He said: “We continually stress to our students the importance of staying safe.
“Unfortunately it appears that some students are being targeted for their phones after school, so we have reminded them to be extra vigilant and to keep their valuables out of sight on the way home.
“I have also spoken to the police who have assured me there will be extra patrols after school.”
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Insp Lee Canter, of the North Redbridge Safer Neighbourhoods Team, confirmed there would be increased police presence in Wanstead Park and Wanstead Flats.
He explained two 13-year-old boys, both in school uniform, had been robbed of their phones in separate incidents in the parks.
“We are also aware that further pupils have fallen victim to similar crimes outside of the borough and officers in Redbridge will be speaking to counterparts in neighbouring boroughs about these incidents,” he said.
“These investigations are ongoing, but at this time there is nothing evidentially to link them together, or that the victims were targeted because they were from a particular school, but inquiries continue.”
Insp Canter added: “We are urging all pupils to take care when using mobile devices in public, and follow our personal safety advice.”
If you have any information about either of the incidents you can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 .