Concerns Grow After Spate of Robberies near Chiswick School

Headteacher writes to reassure parents as police promise more patrols

Stop and search has been reduced in the area around Chiswick School so far this year. Picture Met Police


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July 16, 2023

The headteacher of Chiswick School has met with local police and written to parents to offer reassurance after a recent spate of muggings in the vicinity of the school.

It is understood that there have been a number of serious incidents in recent weeks including an attack on a pupil at the school near Chiswick Station, and robberies in which another student and a teacher (not from Chiswick School) were the victims.

Since the incident teachers at the school have been seen patrolling the route from the station to the school to protect children.

Some reports suggest that this surge follows a spate of robberies in the Barnes area in which three youths wearing dark clothing and balaclavas, sometimes brandishing a knife, have been threatening people and asking them to hand over iPhones.

Laura Ellener, Chiswick School’s Head Teacher, relayed crime prevention advice she had been given by police officers in her letter.

She said, “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.”

There have been a number of other serious crimes reported in the area including a woman being assaulted near a gym in the area.

One local resident contacted us to say, “There is a growing concern in police resources currently being unable to prevent these attacks continuing, or even escalating further.

“There has been a lack of visibility of police in the remote locations 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. These areas are much slower to reach by any urgent police response. These areas lack CCTV.”

The available data suggests that the increase in crime in the area observed by local residents has not just occurred in the last few weeks

The latest figures released by the Met suggest there has been a sharp rise in robberies in the area around Chiswick School so far this year.

For the first five months of 2023 there were 22 robberies reported in the Chiswick Homefields ward in which the school is situated compared to just six in the same three months of 2022. This May robberies took place in the vicinity of Staveley Gardens, Burlington Lane and Hartington Road. The data supplied by the Met only gives a loose approximation of where the crimes happened with exact locations not provided for privacy reasons.

During the same five months, the police appear to have significantly reduced the use of Stop and Search in the area with 60 carried out between January and May 2022 with just 39 carried out in the first five months of this year. The purpose of most searches is to find drugs with a minority carried out because the officer believes that a person is carrying an offensive weapon.

In contrast, there have only been 6 robberies in nearby Chiswick Riverside ward up until the end of May this year up from just 4 in the same period in 2022.

A presentation was made by the local police team to the Chiswick Area Forum last month which said that high visibility patrols, plain clothes covert patrols had been stepped up by the local Safer Neighbourhoods team recently particular in crime hotspot areas. It was stated that Chiswick does not have a significant violence issue but street robberies were most commonplace around the Hogarth Roundabout and Turnham Green Station with Chiswick Station not mentioned. Two suspects have been arrest which the report said had resulted in a decrease in offences.

The report did admit that the local team was understrength. Currently Chiswick Homefields has assigned one Police Constable and one Police Community Support Officer overseen by a Sergeant who has responsibilities beyond the ward.

In Chiswick Homefields the priority recently has been tackling violence against women and girls following an attempted rape earlier this year.

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