Normally sedate Wapping has once again become the scene of violent muggings. The question is just how many?
Three confirmed assaults in Wapping Woods
In just over a week there have been three documented cases that Met Police Tower Hamlets are well aware of and are actively investigating.
- On Monday 10th February a man was robbed in Wapping Woods between 8.30 and 9 pm.
- 30 minutes later there was another attempted robbery in the Woods.
- On the evening of Monday 17th February another male was assaulted and robbed in Wapping Woods.
Males were the victims of the assaults in all three cases and robbery (theft with violence) seems to have been the only motive.
Description of suspects
In all three cases the victims described their assailants as ‘a group of Asian males between 15 and 20 years of age’.
Where you in the area at the time? Did you see anything? If so please contact the police immediately.
Keep your wits about you
“Wapping Woods is not a no-go area,” said Sergeant Jak Bentley of the St Katherine’s and Wapping Safer Neighbourhoods Team. “But as in all parts of London you need to keep your wits about you.”
Love Wapping’s personal view is that listening to music via earphones while walking / cycling / jogging would NOT fall within the category of ‘keeping your wits about you’.
Ensuring you are completely deaf to any possible threats is asking for trouble. It is also advertises that you have something worth stealing on the end of the headphones.
Wapping is usually crime free and maybe it is easy to forget that we live in the middle of a world capital. Crime happens and always will. So be alert.
Sgt. Bentley is asking anyone who sees any groups of men fitting the description in the area to contact the police urgently.
Have there been more assaults?
In researching this story it became apparent that there may have been two more violent muggings in recent weeks but the police have no record whatsoever of these being reported.
Did the previous two ‘assaults’ happen or not?
Towards the end of January (precise date not known) Love Wapping heard third-hand accounts of a robbery under the Vaughan Way bridge where it runs over the end of the Wapping Canal (see photo above).
On 6th February Love Wapping heard, again third-hand, of another robbery in exactly the same place. Under Vaughan Way bridge at the end of the Wapping Canal.
In both cases the attacks happened in the late afternoon / early evening.
In both cases a group of young Asian males were reported as being the assailants.
So that is three confirmed robberies at the Wapping Woods end of the canal and two unconfirmed robberies at the other end of the canal.
Same method of operation and same description of suspects in all five incidents. But only three incidents reported to the police.
What on earth is going on?
Quite what the truth of these earlier assaults is can only be guessed. But Sergeant Bentley has undertaken a thorough search of crime records and there are no reports of assaults in the Vaughan Way / Canal area of Wapping.
Although Love Wapping did not witness the first two incidents there is no reason to doubt the accounts of the two different residents, both known to Love Wapping, who mentioned them.
The possibilities would seem to be:
- The Vaughan Way / canal robberies did not take place (unlikely)
- The incidents were reported and the MPS computer system has lost them (even more unlikely)
- These two incidents were not reported to the police (odd but plausible)
So the question is this.
Have you been the victim of a robbery in Wapping this year and, for whatever reason, not reported it to the police?
You may not live in Wapping, you might not think being mugged in London is that big a deal (!) but it is vitally important you make a report.
If so you need to come forward now and report it.
As ever you can do this by ringing 999 or 101.
The police need our help
The reality is that if we do not report crime the police cannot stop crime.
The lighting in Wapping Woods is being improved, only today while out researching this story with What’s in Wapping we spotted new lights being installed.
And as previously reported the new CCTV system is being implemented.
But lights, CCTV, police patrols and vigilance of others are of no use if people do not report crime.
MPS Tower Hamlets are taking appropriate measures in response to the Wapping Woods events but they always rely on honest people to do the right thing.
And that means you. Not someone else. You.