Girls as young as 12 have been targeted in a series of horrifying attacks carried out by a teen girl gang less than 200 yards from a police station in Twickenham.
The attackers, some reportedly using knuckledusters, a rock, a bat and a broom handle, have left innocent youngsters traumatised and needing medical treatment.
One witness revealed how a young victim was so badly beaten and terrified that she wet herself.
Furious parents are so alarmed they are talking about setting up their own patrols to keep the streets and parks safe.
There are fears that the motive for these girl gang attacks is notoriety, as the attacks are often filmed and put on social media.
Schools have been alerted to the violence and police were drafted in to add reassurance and security to the gates of Orleans Park School on Friday afternoon.
Many of the attacks took place around the Holly Road Play Area, in central Twickenham.
Residents have expressed shock and anger at the level of the violence, and the fact the attacks have occurred at a playground that is less than 200 yards from the local police station.
The playground is next to a Garden of Remembrance behind the Poundland store in the town centre.
The reports include:
- A 12-year-old girl was cornered and attacked by a gang of girls on 12 April. Video footage posted on social media suggests she was hit by a girl with a knuckleduster and also with a rock.
- A few days earlier, a girl of 13 was threatened with assault and chased to her home. She was subsequently threatened on two occasions by girls, armed with a broom handle and bat, who camped on her doorstep.
- In Redlees Park, Isleworth, a 13-year-old girl was attacked by gang of 15-20 teenagers. She was beaten, required stitches and reportedly spent a night in hospital.
- On 27 March, a mother of a two-year-old dragged away two female attackers, who were being filmed on smartphones as they carried out a frenzied attack on a teenage girl.
- A gang of teen girls and boys was involved in antisocial behaviour at the play area on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. Fearful parents reported the incident to 999 and Twickenham Police Station.
Concerns were first raised by mother María José Triay, who saw the video posted on social media of the attack on the 12-year-old.
She said: “One of the attackers had a metal knuckleduster. The girl was also attacked with a rock. It is just horrible.
“It is a violent group. The poor girl was at the hospital.
“As parents we should not feel worried when our children go out with their friends.
“We cannot accept this, we cannot ignore it. I have an idea that we should create a walking group of parents, walking around the parks, to keep them safe.”
The mother of a girl of 13 who was threatened and chased to her home said: “My worry is that it will only gain police attention when someone is seriously hurt, or when a parent ends up defending their child against this gang and gets arrested themselves.”
Former broadcast journalist Liz Peters, 42, broke-up one of the attacks.
She said: “I could see two girls had dragged another to the floor, and were beating her up, with crowds of mostly girls, but some boys, standing around filming and yelling.
“I grabbed one of the girls from behind, around her waist, and dragged her away. The other attacker was still hitting the girl on the floor, so I grabbed her too.
“I’m really angry to hear there’s been more attacks, some resulting in children having to go to hospital. I think it’s absolutely unacceptable, and utterly shocking that it’s happening a stone’s throw from the police station.”
Harry Reece, who works in live television, reported frightening behaviour both to 999 and Twickenham Police Station.
He said: “My wife Mercedes and I have witnessed this gang type activity twice in the past week, in this very spot.
“Sadly, the police said there is not a lot they can do since catching them in the act is the issue.”
The Met Police said officers are dealing with the reports as individual events, rather than connected incidents.
A spokesperson said: “A 12-year-old girl was physically assaulted by a group of teenagers at Holly Road Garden of Rest in Twickenham.
“The assault resulted in injuries amounting to Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). On Friday 16th April, a teenage girl was arrested and interviewed for the offence of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). She has been released on bail and the investigation continues.”
The spokesperson also confirmed police were called to the home of a 13-year-old girl on 7 April, who had been ‘subject to threats of violence’.
They added: ‘Police were called to a group of 10-15 teenagers who were outside the 13-year-old girl’s home address with a weapon.
“On police arrival the group dispersed and police conducted an area search with no trace of the suspects.”
The Met also confirmed that the police attended Holly Road Play Area following reports of anti-social behaviour on Easter Saturday and dispersed a group of teenagers.
The police have asked for people with any evidence or worries to contact them.
The spokesperson added: “If anyone has any concerns in relation to these incidents in and around Holly Road and Twickenham High Street, please contact Twickenham Riverside Safer Neighbourhoods Team by emailing [email protected].”