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Rough sleepers mugged

October 06 2011
Were the assailants impersonating the police?


Two rough sleepers have been mugged while collecting their benefits at a post office in South London.

The two men, one known to his friends as Chisel, were at the Post Office in Tulse Hill on midnight of Monday 25 July when the incident took place. Having withdrawn their fortnightly benefits they went to a nearby shop to get some drinks.

When they stepped outside they were confronted by two men claiming to be police officers. Although the attackers were not wearing police uniform they were wearing stab vests and carrying fake police badges.

The two men, described as aged 25-35, one black, one mixed-race, shoved the two rough sleepers into an alley and rifled through their pockets, taking £90. They then jumped into a car nearby and sped off. Unfortunately, neither of the victims was able to identify the car number plates.

Both men were reluctant to go the police. According to Ian Ross, a former rough sleeper who knows Chisel, he and his friend have had too many bad experiences with the police to want to get involved with them. Ian told The Pavement: “They feel like it’s a waste of time. They’ve had bad experiences with the police. They used to live in Waterloo and the police would come and harass them.”

Stealing from rough sleepers is nothing new either, as Ian told The Pavement: “I had a similar thing 10 years ago, in the West End with four people trying to get stuff off me, so it’s not a new thing. I think they target homeless people and drug users because they know they won’t go to the police.”