Town Mouse on muggings

Mugging is a fact of urban life. But something more frightening has happened in recent years: the increase in teenagers being attacked, without provocation, frequently and aggressively. Richard Madeley, of Richard and Judy, was on television last week talking about his 19-year-old daughter’s mugging for her mobile phone in Notting Hill.

Richard is considered ‘lucky’ by townies: his daughter is an adult, and she only had her hair yanked. He has now coined the acronym NFL, to describe this violent act: ‘Normal For London’. The worst thing about this phrase is that it embodies the attitude of Londoners that this daily threat on our teenagers is an everyday occurrence. The facts support this belief: most muggings never make it onto the crime statistics.

Teenagers not wishing to frighten their parents, or be stopped from going out at night, often don’t report the thefts to their families, let alone the police. Most teenagers won’t give evidence as they might see their ‘local’ muggers again. Instead, the advice is to stick to well-lit areas, avoid being conspicuous with your valuables and shout ‘fire’ rather than ‘help’ as it can get more results.