Spate of muggings and assaults targeting school students and residents in Chiswick

Image above: Stop and search operations in Chiswick; Met Police

Strand-on-the-Green teacher mugged at knife point 

There has been a spate of muggings and assaults have in Chiswick over the past few weeks. Many of those targeted have been school students.

On Friday 7 July a music teacher from Strand on the Green school was mugged at knife point. The teacher was attacked in the walkway adjacent to the railway tracks near Chiswick Station, leading from Russell Kerr Close W4 towards Barnes Bridge, at approximately 4.15 pm.

In correspondence between Strand on the Green school and parents, seen by The Chiswick Calendar, the perpetrators were described as three black males, approximately 20 years old, standing around 5’8″ tall. They were dressed in black, including hoodies, and all wore surgical masks, two of which were blue and one black. The teacher did not sustain any serious injuries, but the school said they were “understandably shaken”.

Another similar attack took place on Turnham Green, on students from ArtsEd. Staff members immediately intervened and urged the students to to head home. The police were called, and the incident was reported.

While specific details were not provided in a letter sent to parents and carers, the school tried to assure them the students were safe.

Image above: Walkway adjacent to the railway tracks near Chiswick Station and Russell Kerr Close; Google Maps

Residents describe “significant escalation” in violent crime

Christopher Elkins, who lives in Grove Park, told The Chiswick Calendar there has been a “significant escalation” in violent crime, specifically targeting Chiswick School students and women, over the past week.

Chris said there have been several serious assaults recently involving various students from Chiswick School, including one who was physically assaulted at Chiswick Station. He added that a woman was reportedly assaulted inside a car near Riverside Gym, during which her vehicle was severely damaged.

Billy Beatty, another Chiswick resident – who works at Hogarth Youth and Community Centre, told us a boy from the youth club was attacked on Friday 23 June on the Fraser Street and Duke Road. The victim had his phone stolen and a small amount of cash which he was carrying after a group of around eight to 10 men, some of whom who had their face covered, attacked him around 6.30pm.

The victim was reportedly pushed to the floor and hit in the face, though he was left without any visible wounds. His family reported the incident to the police.

The attacks have residents concerned and an emergency meeting was called on Tuesday (11 July) with Hounslow Council and the police, which has resulted in increased police patrols near Chiswick Station during the school’s dismissal time.

Police have also been offering safety advice to students and their parents.

Image above: A Metropolitan Police officer

Resident fear police are unable to prevent these attacks continuing

There is a growing concern among residents that current police resources are unable to prevent these attacks continuing, or even escalating further.

“There has previously been a lack of visibility of police in the remote locations” Chris Elkins continued, “particularly on the pathway from starting from Russell Kerr Close in Chiswick that leads down to Barnes Bridge now being a hotspot, plus the Dukes Meadows area.”

Chris added that these areas are much slower to reach by any urgent police response, they lack CCTV and the perpetrators seem to target anyone at any time of the day.

“Many older people or women I have spoken to are actively avoiding these areas currently, due to the perceived threat of violent crime”, said Chris.

Chiswick School Headteacher Laura Ellener told The Chiswick Calendar:

“We are very concerned about the recent muggings in the Chiswick area. On Tuesday I met with the local authority and police to discuss this.  I am grateful that they have agreed to patrol the locality of the station when the children leave at the end of the day. The police have also provided us with safety advice which we have sent to parents and shared with students.”

The Metropolitan Police have been approached for comment.