Gang steals £3,000 fishing tackle from man in Hampstead Heath
11:50 a.m. 28 June 2022
Hampstead Constabulary are to increase patrols on the moor after a fisherman was attacked by an early morning gang.
Harry Prosser and his friend were preparing to fish at the Model Boating Pond at 4am on June 20 when they were attacked by six young men wearing face masks.
Harry, a pub manager, said a group of young men “came up the hill, all in masks”.
“Six of them went around the lake, blocked the exits so we couldn’t get out and all of them shot us with knives,” he said.
“They actually wanted my buddy’s bike, and then one of the kids turned around and said, ‘And you, your fishing gear, I could have some money for that.'”
He said when he resisted an attacker with a T-shirt around his face said, “Do you want to get stabbed (stabbed), are you stupid?”
The gang left with fishing tackle worth £3,000 and the bike.
He said he tried to contact the City of London Corporation (CoLC).
“They had so many opportunities to warn us about everything that was going on up there,” he said. “They act like it’s a beautiful place and the most amazing place in London, but no, it’s getting difficult.”
The father-of-two added: “In September 2020 a child was stabbed while I was fishing in the heath and he fell into my tent, bleeding all over. I had to help him, call the police and l ambulance. All my equipment was completely ruined, no one’s fault, people were panicking.”
In June 2020, six people were arrested after a fight broke out on the moor.
Harry said there needs to be more emphasis on aggression.
“Even when these kids get caught, they get nothing, there’s no benefit for any of them,” he said.
A CoLC spokesman, said Heath Constabulary were increasing their patrols in “popular areas of the moor”.
“As in any open space, there is a small minority who sometimes cause problems for others, but serious incidents are very rare.”
Officers will carry out patrols with the Metropolitan Police and Camden Council’s Community Safety Team, and the CoLC works “with schools, staff and volunteers to make Heath a safe, vibrant and welcoming place for all”.
Met Police said there were no arrests and investigations were ongoing.