Masked teen gang on the rampage in London Colney

PUBLISHED: 06:01 20 April 2017

The Co-op in Haseldine Road, London Colney - photo courtesy Google Street View.

The Co-op in Haseldine Road, London Colney - photo courtesy Google Street View.


A gang of masked teenagers armed with baseball bats are running rampage through a village shopping parade, leaving residents terrified and intimidated.

Shops in Haseldine Road, London Colney - photo courtesy Google Street View.Shops in Haseldine Road, London Colney - photo courtesy Google Street View.

The young thugs - sometimes 14 strong and armed with weapons - have been wreaking havoc in London Colney; stealing goods and abusing and intimidating people at a parade of shops which open after dark.

Every night for the last few months, the gang has gathered on Haseldine Road from 7pm to terrorise shops along the strip, and it is feared they are becoming more reckless.

Last week London Colney parish council (LCPC) held a meeting to discuss the escalating problem, with affected residents and shop owners speaking out about their experiences.

One business said they had tried to put a limit on the number of people coming in at any one time, but this restriction had not helped tackle the crime spree, the meeting heard.

Shop owners told councillors they have lost revenue, either because other patrons are afraid to come inside after seeing the group hanging around or because they have had to close early.

Co-op store manager Mo Chowdhury, said: “They come into our store with their faces covered, with masks and balaclavas, picking things up and shoplifting, and every night they get more abusive and threatening.

“We tried to hire a security guard, but he called me on my mobile at 10pm to say he was leaving because he was so scared.”

Mo says his staff are refusing to work in the evenings, and he had to console a terrified employee who did not want to walk home after his shift had finished.

He added: “I have been here almost two years and until recently I have never had any issues - we have had shoplifters but they are not abusive, if you confront them they just leave - but these boys are something else.

“They are minors, but they are not minor enough, they should be dealt with properly, I mean, some of them are about 17 years old.”

He says there is one ringleader, whose identity he knows, egging the rest on.

In desperation, Mo spoke to two police community police officers about the problem, and they have organised a community meeting on April 28.

In a recent incident on Wednesday April 12, the masked gang ran into the Co-op at around 9.20pm - tearing around the store and stealing confectionary and soft drinks.

Herts Police officers came to break up the abusive mob, which they described as a “disturbance”.

On another occasion, one of the gang picked up an Easter egg, deliberately held up the chocolate to CCTV cameras, and walked out of the shop without paying.

LCPC chairman, Cllr Malcolm MacMillan, said: “Residents are shocked and intimidated that this has happened.

“It’s not just anti-social, it’s worse - people are disbelieving, they just don’t believe it would happen here and it’s getting worse and worse.”

He said he did not want to scare people, but described the issue as “serious”.

“It was a raid and it’s not healthy for the community, we need to stamp down on it first of all.”

LCPC has asked for an urgent meeting with youth workers and have written to the Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, asking for a greater presence in the area - measures which Cllr MacMillan described as “tough love”.

St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Team (SASNT) said they are aware of this incident, and also of any repeat offenders, and are looking into taking further action.

Insp Adam Such of the SASNT said: “Officers were quickly sent to the scene and the group was dispersed.

“We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and are currently looking at issuing anti-social behaviour contracts for repeat offenders and are working with the families of certain individuals to put a permanent stop to problems.”

He encouraged people to report any anti-social behaviour on 101, or in an emergency, on 999.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Herts Advertiser visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Herts Advertiser staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Herts Advertiser account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

38 minutes ago

Former St Albans MP Kerry Pollard is expected to be Labour’s candidate in the June election.


A professional DJ and talented cook from St Albans made it through to the next round of MasterChef last night (April 24).


A determined London Marathon runner overcame a chronic leg injury to reach the finish line on Sunday.


Celebrity sportsmen will ride alongside St Albans City FC (SACFC) charity cyclists on a two day trek to Holland next month.


It’s always at this time of year that I begin to look up again. Winter somehow forces us to look down, maybe at our feet to make sure we’re avoiding the worst of the mud, but maybe also because the overcast skies have a way of dampening our gaze if not our spirits. But there is more to it than that for I find my eyes are actually drawn upwards, first by the skylark, rising higher and higher from the ground, pouring out its cascade of song, and then by a host of other natural forms.

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

St Albans Sinkhole News

Saturday, December 31, 2016

With stories covering the likes of Bowie, Brexit, the BID, Butterfly World, The Brickyard and the Berlin Wall, it certainly hasn’t been a quiet year for the Herts Advertiser.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read stories


Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards