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Crime-fighting mums join forces to keep London borough's streets safe
17 October 2022, 10:00 | Updated: 17 October 2022, 12:24
A group of mothers in a crime-ridden borough of north London have taken it upon themselves to fight crime in their neighbourhood, claiming police are not doing their jobs.
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Dozens of concerned mums in Enfield come together after school every day, amid longstanding fears for the safety of local children, to walk the streets and talk to kids in a bid to drive down crime.
One mother, Tina Coletta, said that she was sparked into action after her son was mugged four times.
"One of them was by the same person twice," Ms Coletta told LBC.
"He would have him by the neck saying to his friend ‘give me everything you’ve got or I’m going to cut your throat.
"It got to the point where [my son] was wanting a lift everywhere, because he was only 16 then he couldn’t drive a lift here, there and everywhere - whereas they would just jump on buses before. So it did have an impact on him."
Vigilante mums patrol the streets to protect children from muggers
Group founder Emma Rigby said she would only rarely see police officers patrolling local streets.
"It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth really," she added.
"When we first started, the month before we started, 19 young boys were mugged for their mobile phones and money, and they were taken down side streets..
"It was more of a power game I’d say, but these poor boys, it was devastating for them that this had happened."
Enfield has a serious problem with street crimes like robbery and theft. Theft increased a staggering 17% in the year to September 2022, the latest figures on record, compared with the twelve months to September 2021.
Meanwhile robbery was up nearly 4% in the borough over the same period.
But Ms Rigby still feels that the mums' group is making a difference, claiming that crime had fallen by nearly 50% in the times that they walk the streets.
Enfield police station closed in 2017, leaving a vacuum for crime to flourish, mums in the group said.
"We are absolutely devastated that our police station has closed," Ms Rigby said.
"They’re turning it into housing, but it used to be so amazing having our neighbourhood policing team based at that police station, right across from the high street and the school."
Ms Coletta agreed: "It’s not making people feel safe and it’s just devastating they’ve had to close it. We don’t see any of the voluntary police, the PCSOs, and we don’t see any police...
"And you know, just their presence would make a difference."