Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stabbed, but I Won't Give In

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stabbed, but I Won't Give In

Article excerpt


PAUL DONOVAN was subjected to a horrific attack near his home in which he was chased, punched, kicked and stabbed by an eight-strong gang of muggers.

Now, two years on, he says there have been improvements in Wanstead but street crime is still a major problem.

He said: "Since the attack, a police station about 25 yards from where it happened has reopened.

It's not 24 hours but it's more of a police presence than it was before.

"But there have been reports locally that muggings have gone up in the borough. The talk is of there being extra police numbers in neighbouring boroughs which means the criminals are moving here."

The attack left Mr Donovan with bruised ribs and cuts on his back, with the worst of the injuries taking a month to heal.

Yet he has not received any compensation. Nor has anybody been brought to justice for the crime.

He added: "I was beaten up and stabbed in the back but that is not worthy of compensation. I'm not even going to get back the cash that was stolen."

Yet Mr Donovan has refused to be cowed by his attack and has not altered his route home.

He said: "Sometimes I remember what happened but I'm determined not to let it affect me psychologically. Part of that is not getting angry because that would be giving in to who ever did that to me."

JENNY COWLEY was robbed of her purse after a series of brushes with muggers near her Muswell Hill home. Two years on, her 11-year-old son Matthew has been mugged on his way back from school for just 30p. He joins his mother among the ranks of those afraid to walk the streets.

"It has had a profound effect on him," said Mrs Cowley. "It's taken his confidence away. Children getting mugged is a major problem around here."

Her own experiences have left her with a deep fear of going out in an area where houses can fetch up to [pounds sterling]1 million.

As for policing, local beat officers have been replaced by ineffective community wardens, said Mrs Cowley.

"Many of them don't even seem to know the area," she explained.


STREET crime is a phenomenon of the young. …

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