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Sir Robert Peel pub landlord says crime in Queen’s Crescent has never been so bad

Two customers mugged on way home from bar

14 June, 2018 — By William McLennan

Tom Battersby

BUSINESSES in Queen’s Crescent say more police are needed on the street to halt robberies in the area.

Tom Battersby, who for 17 years has owned the Sir Robert Peel pub – named after the man who founded the Metropolitan Police in 1829 – said: “I’ve never seen things as bad. People are genuinely scared around here.”

Pub manager Bev Smith said two customers had been mugged on their way home in recent weeks. Last month, she was assaulted by two women who had been refused a drink. “It’s not good,” she said. “Every person walking down this street, it’s not fair on them. They just want to go from A to B and get home without feeling threatened.”

Mr Battersby and Ms Smith said that police needed better resourcing to increase their presence on the street. Nisa manager Arfan Hussain said: “Shoplifting has gone through the roof the last 12 months, but police don’t bother with shoplifting unless it’s a physical assault.” He said one member of staff was stabbed with a used needle by a shoplifter. “He has to keep going back to the hospital for blood tests to see if he’s infected,” he said.

Jill Fraser, a Lib Dem candidate in the general election and local elections who has worked in Blue Sea fish-and-chip shop for 20 years, said: “The one that thing that has gone totally wrong with our area is you never see a policeman, except when there’s trouble, when they do come in mob-handed. They don’t have the resources. You can’t blame the police. There aren’t enough around.”

Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhood Panel is attempting to organise a meeting between business owners and Camden Council’s community safety department.

According to police figures, incidents of “theft from person” across all of Gospel Oak are down from last year. In the first four months of this year, there were 21 offences recorded, compared to 47 during the same period in 2017. There were nine robberies in the first four months of this year, down from 15 in the same period in 2017.

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