Parents have won a security review at a west London school after a young mother was mugged and the attempted abduction of a child in two separate incidents.

The move at Colville Primary School, Notting Hill, follows a petition signed by 108 people demanding improvements. The campaign was organised by Patience Owen, a mother who was the victim of a mugging in December last year. She decided to start a petition after another recent incident where a man tried to lure a child into his car, parked outside the school earlier this month.

Now the board of governors has invited Ms Owen and four other parents to join a security review team, to include a crime prevention expert from the police.

Mrs Owen claims there have been other incidents which have raised parents' concerns, including an incident where a mentally disturbed woman was found crying in the playground.

She said: 'The school is located in an area of high crime and drug abuse. For the sake of the children and parents it needs maximum security.'

Ms Owen was attacked in the school playground as she arrived to collect her two young daughters from a party at the school's play centre, after school hours.

'I was approached by two men who walked towards me from the direction of the play centre at 5.20pm. I was crossing the playground in the dark. They tried to snatch my handbag and in the struggle they held me to the ground and tried to stifle my screams with their hands.

'No-one could hear me because of the noise of the party. I gave in and they ran off with my bag. I was not hurt, but very shocked and shaken.'

'At the time I was attacked the lighting in the playground was not working, so I began campaigning for better security.' Ms Owen said that she welcomed the governors' invitation to discuss past and present security measures, but added: 'I regret it has taken so long for a formal meeting to be arranged.'

But officials at the school insisted they had improved security over the past two years.

Silvia Pearson, chair of governors, said: 'We are one of the most secure schools in the area, if not the most. An intercom system has been fitted on the door. The lighting was out of order when Ms Owen was attacked but it was fixed soon after in response to her complaint. There is only one entrance with a gate. The attempted abduction was not on school premises, but outside.

'The parent of the child concerned has also written to me expressing the view that she herself does not have concerns about our school security.

'However, other parents felt they wanted to discuss security and we are responding to their petition by inviting them to a meeting.

'Any proposals they have, or any the crime prevention officer makes will be given serious consideration as part of the review.'

(Photograph omitted)

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