Gangs Targeting Boys On Way Home From School

Majority of robberies of phones and airpods occurred on Putney High Street


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Local police have confirmed a pattern of robberies on or around Putney High Street, in which it appears the same gang are targeting school boys on their way home. The robberies are occurring between 3.30pm and 5pm, weekdays on the high street in Putney.

It seen they are going after school boys who are wearing Airpods, initially the gang seem to send one person to go and talk to the victim and act in a friendly manner, presumably not to arouse suspicion from the public and then the rest of the gang jump in and intimidate when the victim is lead away.

A spokesperson for Thamesfield SNT said,"I would suggest your readers make their children aware of what is happening, advise not the have phones or airpods, etc on display to attract these boys. If the worst does happen and they are accosted, the majority of victims have made their way home and told their parents first before calling Police or asking for help. This in turn delays any kind of response from Police and it is likely that the suspects are then able to leave the area unhindered.

He continued: "My advice on this would be to go to the nearest shop, or anywhere where and adult can help or call police on their behalf, or at the very least shout asking for help and make as much noise as they can at the time to attract the attention of the public who may assist".

According to the Met’s Crime Data Dashboard to compile robbery statistics in Putney July-September (October stats are not available yet), the highest number of robberies reported to the police was in Southfields ward (24) and then Thamesfield ward: 18 which includes Putney High Street. The total number of robberies reported in the July-September quarter was 88 robberies in the Putney area.

Ward Robberies reported
Southfields 24
Thamesfield 18


Roehampton and Putney Heath 9
East Putney 9
West Hill 7
West Putney 5

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Police said: “Putney is generally a safe area of London, and robbery offences are low. However, we would encourage residents to be vigilant when travelling, and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Please remember to look up and look out from personal electronic devices such as mobile phones, and to pay attention to those around you. If you are challenged, please remember that material items can be replaced, and your personal safety is more important than your belongings. If you have been a victim of robbery, please report it to police on 999 as soon as possible, in order to maximise our chances of tracing the suspects as soon possible after the incident.”

Apple airpods attract thieves

A mother of one of the recent victims told this website: "It's much more than the loss of a phone, cash or headphones. Young victims like my son are left with a lingering and deep rooted fear that they could be targeted again, threatened with a knife again. There is also a sense of hopelessness because they still need to make the same journey every day. The school commute is not something they can avoid. These gangs cannot be left to attack children with impunity".

Families of the victims have set up petition to the council to 'put pressure on schools and police to prepare a strategy and patrol key areas in Wandsworth where an epidemic of muggings are taking place, to ensure the safety of our children on their journey home after school'. Click here to sign the petition.

PutneySW15 understands that the police have been conducting both plain clothes and high visibility patrols up and down the High Street. They are also looking into CCTV on busses to see if they can see anyone matching the description of the suspects.

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October 17, 2019

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