Richmond youngsters encouraged to be ‘Street W!se’ amidst mugging concerns

By Joe Richardson
March 14 2020, 11.25

A new initiative has been launched in Richmond to keep young people ‘street wise’ due to the increasing number of robberies in the area.

Richmond borough has seen more than 100 children aged 11-18 being mugged in the borough in the last 12 months.

After seeing a drop in incidences at the end of 2019 the numbers have began climbing since the start of this year.

The crime awareness and prevention campaign, Street W!se, includes representatives from the council’s Community Safety Service, Achieving for Children, the Metropolitan Police Service, and various local community groups, including Mothers Against Mugging.

Head of community safety Robyn Thomas said: “It is fantastic to see the communities come together with the council and police to tackle the issue of robberies of school children.

“I am confident that the Street W!se initiative will reinforce safety messages to young people so they are more aware, alert of their surroundings and better equipped to know what to do if something happens.”

All year 6 and secondary school children in the borough will receive travel card holders branded with information about staying safe when out and about.

The holder also has emergency police contact numbers to call or text if an incident occurs.

Representatives from the Street W!se campaign are delivering 15 minute safety presentations to all primary and secondary schools in the borough, addressing more than 20,000 young people.

Co-chair of Mothers Against Mugging Barbara Elliot said: “Our 15-minute assemblies aim to provide our young people with simple tips on how to stay safe, this includes putting away phones and other valuables, paying attention to their surroundings, moving to a safe place and reporting an incident swiftly if something does happen.

“We are aware that most young people will still walk around with phones in their hands and earphones in – but if the Street W!se campaign makes our children think twice about their surroundings and know what to do if they do experience trouble, then it is a success.”

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