Attacks on lone women (man arrested)

on

[from Hornsey and Crouch End Journal]

Attacks on lone women

nlnews@archant.co.uk
10 July 2008

A SECLUDED nature trail in Crouch End has become a “hunting ground” for muggers preying on lone females – with two more victims having been attacked.

Two women in their 40s were hauled into bushes and mugged in broad daylight – bringing the total number victims along Parkland Walk to six in just one month.

The spate of attacks has forced police to step up patrols along the picturesque path – the longest nature reserve in London.

Barry Stearn, vice-chairman of Friends of Parkland Walk, said: “It’s absolutely tragic that this sort of thing goes on. Because it’s remote, it’s an ideal hunting ground for rather disturbed people. They are not normal people. They are after some sort of gratification – some money or a quick grope.

“It’s a wonderful amenity but the thing about it is once you get there you relax. At the back of your mind you have to always be alert.”

The women were left shaken after a robber grabbed them by the back of the head and dragged them into a bush near the bridge over Crouch Hill.

The suspect fled with the women’s stolen cash in the direction of Finsbury Park at about 1.45pm on Thursday, June 26.

Sergeant John McGrath, of Crouch End safer neighbourhood team, said: “This is the third incident in the past few weeks. There are considerable resources being utilised.”

A police crackdown is underway with officers patrolling the area daily in high visibility gear and plain clothes.

“I would ask that anybody who sees or knows of anything that may assist the police please get in touch,” added Sergeant McGrath.

The Air Support Unit – the Met’s helicopter patrols – and the Parks Constabulary are also working together in a bid to halt the attacks.

Sergeant Dougie Skinner, of Haringey police’s elite fast response robbery team Q Cars, said: “There is no reason for people to be overly alarmed, but we are asking people to be alert when using the Parkland Walk. Residents should be reassured to know we are doing everything we can to find the male responsible for these incidents.”

Four other women aged 40 to 60 were attacked on two separate occasions on Saturday, May 31 and Saturday, June 7. The victims were all grabbed while walking along Parkland Walk and had money stolen. One woman fought with the attacker before she fell and hit her head.

Anyone with information should contact the Robbery Squad on 020 8345 0855 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A man was arrested on Tuesday in connection with five attacks in Parkland Walk including the mugging of a 74-year-old man on Monday (July 7). He faced charges of robbery at Highgate Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday).

As well as the July 7 mugging, he was accused of robbing two women aged 64 and 66 years old on May 31 and another two women aged 43 and 40 years old on June 26.

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