Police warn of 'increased risk of robberies' as pupils return to school

Pupils return to school

Police are stepping up patrols as pupils return to school in Brent, warning of increase in robberies - Credit: David Jones/PA

Police in Brent are urging parents and carers to be "mindful" of a potential increase in robberies from children travelling to and from school as lessons restart.

The warning from Brent's Online Watch Link (OWL) comes as primary and secondary schools re-open today during the third Covid-19 lockdown.

Police will be carrying out extra patrols at school start and finish times "as a precaution."

In his note, PC Kharegh said: "In recent months, some children have been robbed when travelling home.

"Parents and carers are asked to remind their children to be very alert.

"Children should look out for anybody who might seem suspicious, for example who is not travelling to work or school, buying food or travelling for any other essential purpose."

He added: "Children should be alert to people standing in doorways, watching them walk home or waiting around in a group.

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"Children should avoid walking slowly so robbers cannot catch up with them from behind. Children should also avoid using their phone when walking home; they should keep their phone out of sight."

The note adds that the government's guidance on essential travel and exercise is still in place and children should be reminded to "travel straight home from school and not stand around in groups".

"Parents and carers are encouraged to ask their children how their journey went," he added.

Schools are reopening today for the first time since January 4; Prime Minister Boris Johnson closed primary and secondary schools from January 5 to all pupils bar children of keyworkers and those who are vulnerable.

Anyone who would like to contact the police about PC Kharegh's message should make clear it was sent through the OWL scheme.