Angler has fishing gear stolen during knifepoint mugging on Heath

Fishing gear and a bike stolen from duo in early morning mugging

Friday, 24th June — By Harry Taylor

camden24 Image 2022-06-24 at 1.51.28 PM (1)

Harry Prosser with a fish

AN angler is warning others to be vigilant on Hampstead Heath after he and a friend were mugged at knifepoint by a gang early on Monday morning.

Harry Prosser was with a friend at the Model Boating Pond at 4am for some early morning fishing when he was approached by a group of six youths.

After demanding they handed over cash, which the pair told the teenagers they didn’t have, one grabbed his friend’s bike, and the other tried to take his fishing tackle –worth more than £1,000.

When he resisted in a tug-of-war with the muggers, they asked him: “Are you stupid? Give it us or we’ll shank you.”

He eventually relented and they made off with the gear and bicycle.

“I just want people to be alert. If we had known what was going on, on the Heath, we would probably not have gone out.

“If it stops it happening to one more person then it’s worth it,” he said. “It does shake you up massively.”

Mr Prosser, 34, who lives in Tufnell Park, said he had arrived to fish at the boating pond early on Monday as a way of kicking off a fortnight’s break as general manager of the Red Lion pub in Stoke Newington.

“It was two of us against six of them.” he said. “They aren’t big guys, but they are grown adults. I reckon they were all teenagers, the youngest was probably about 17.

“They were all dressed in tracksuits, just a bunch of bloody roadmen, you could only see their eyes.”

The group of thieves then split up and fled, and Mr Prosser rang police.

He went to Kentish Town police station on Monday to give a statement and was told by a police officer: “It’s getting horrific up there.”

On Friday two teenage boys were stabbed on the Heath in a brawl near the running track near Parliament Hill. No arrests have been made.

Mr Prosser said he couldn’t understand why anglers hadn’t been warned. “If the police and the City of London know about other incidents, if they know it is happening more, they have all of our email addresses as we have licences. Why didn’t they tell us?”

Mr Prosser has put word out to fellow anglers to keep an eye out for his fishing kit being put up for sale. They include Sonik car fishing rods, three Daiwa tournament 5000T reels with custom black spools and other tackle. He said it had taken a decade to put together.

The father-of-two said: “The fishing community have been absolutely phenomenal.”

The Met said no arrests had been made. The City of London Corporation did not respond to requests for comment.

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