Victim of terrifying robbery in New Orleans Estate 'livid' at Islington police for dropping investigation
PUBLISHED: 12:18 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 03 January 2018
A traumatised robbery victim who was threatened with a huge rock is "livid" at police for deciding to drop the investigation just hours after the attack.
Suzanne Moloney, who lives in a block on the New Orleans Estate, Hornsey Rise, was nipping out to a shop at about 7.30pm on Boxing Day when a man forced entry to the block’s lift with the rock in his hand.
The mum-of-three instantly feared the worst. Thankfully, the robber, who Suzanne believes was on drugs, ran off after stealing her phone and some cigarettes.
But yesterday, the social worker was furious after receiving a letter – dated the day after the incident – saying police were closing the case. “We do not have sufficient evidence to proceed further,” it read.
This was despite Suzanne and a neighbour providing a clear description of the man’s appearance and collecting her clothes and the weapon for forensic analysis.
Islington police today said a “full and proportionate investigation was completed”, and added the case will immediately re-open if new evidence comes to light.
Recalling the incident, Suzanne told the Gazette: “It has been really difficult to keep it together. I’m having panic attacks at the thought of going out.
“I was going down in the lift. As the door opened, a man in his mid-20s forced his way in and threatened me with a rock the size of my head. He went through all my clothing and took my mobile phone and some cigarettes. It was about 45 seconds, although it felt much longer.
After she ran back home, Suzanne’s husband Alan called police and two officers attended.
“They were sat in my living room,” Suzanne said. “They just weren’t pro-active. My neighbour had seen the guy, and they didn’t even think to do a door-to-door knock around the estate.
“Alan found the rock which had been discarded by the robber. It was only when he pointed it out that the officers thought to go down and show a bit of willing.
“Alan also suggested to them to take my clothes, as the man wasn’t wearing gloves and his DNA could have been over them.
“These are all the things you would expect police to be pro-active about – but just weren’t. Instead, they were being led by a civilian who was suggesting how they should do their job.”
She added: “Getting the letter saying police were dropping it was just a kick in the teeth. I’m livid. It’s like I’m not good enough to merit a serious investigation.”
The Met is experiencing major budget cuts – Holloway police station was recently shut to make savings – and Suzanne added: “It’s just a sign things are getting worse. Police are under-resourced and it’s detrimental to the borough.
“You also see mental health facilities closed down. A lot of people are getting dumped on the streets and this sort of thing is going to happen a whole lot more at a time when police services are being cut.”
But Sgt Tom Clements, supervisor of the two officers who attended Suzanne’s home, told the Gazette this afternoon: “I have reviewed the crime report and am satisfied that a full and proportionate investigation was completed.
“The officers in attendance have considered CCTV, additional witnesses and forensic opportunities. The officers seized some clothing and a purse from Mrs Moloney as well as the rock that was used to threaten her for potential forensic analysis. The officer in the case will discuss with a forensic manager any possible forensic strategies available. They obtained a statement from Mrs Moloney and a further witness statement from a neighbour.
“The report has been closed pending any positive forensic results. Where forensics are the only proportionate lines of inquiry to complete, a report will be screened out or closed. This is simply due to the fact that forensic analysis of exhibits can take several weeks and were crimes to remain open, an officer’s work file would become cumbersome to manage.
“Should a suspect be identified from forensics, the report will of course be reopened and an investigation strategy set to hopefully solve the crime and bring any offenders to justice.”
Suzanne has been referred to the police’s victim support service, Sgt Clements added.