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St Mary Magdalene Academy warns students not to walk through Highbury Fields or Paradise Park after spate of muggings

PUBLISHED: 09:41 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:54 13 January 2020

The headteacher and deputy of St Mary Magdalene Academy, Victoria Linsley and deputy headteacher Damiola Ajagbonna on GCSE results day 2018. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

The headteacher and deputy of St Mary Magdalene Academy, Victoria Linsley and deputy headteacher Damiola Ajagbonna on GCSE results day 2018. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

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St Mary Magdalene Academy has warned pupils not to walk unaccompanied through Highbury Fields after a spate of incidents.

In an email sent to parents on December 2, deputy headteacher Damilola Ajagbonna said students at the Liverpool Road school should avoid walking alone through Highbury Fields, Paradise Park or St Mary Magdalene Academy churchyard, to avoid muggers.

The email says: "I am sorry to be writing to you again this calendar year to let you know that in the last fortnight, there have been a not insignificant number of crimes perpetrated against members of our school community, the great majority of these have taken place in Highbury Fields and the local area.

"They have been muggings or attempted muggings."

Mr Ajagbonna said the school's police liaison officer has increased her presence in the area, and that he had written to the relevant police Sergeant requesting "increased additional resources".

Met Police data records 13 reported robberies in Highbury East ward, which encompasses Highbury Fields, in November, four of which were in Fieldway Crescent.

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According to the same data set, there were 90 additional robberies in the ward in the year to November, compared with the previous 12 months.

But robberies fell by 13.5 per cent in Islington in the year to October, despite was a London-wide spike of 13.8pc over this period.

A mother, who asked to remain anonymous, told how two males on bikes tried to mug her 18-year-old son - who goes to a different sixth form - on Sunday night as he left Highbury & Islington Station at about 7pm and made his way down Compton Road.

"He was walking and two people were following him on bikes," she said.

"They said to him: 'What ends are you from? What's the time?'

"I guess they wanted him to get his phone out. It did shake him up."

Fortunately, her son managed to alert a passerby and the assailants fled, though he later learned a friend was mugged in same area at a similar time.


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