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‘I’ve filmed in Iraq and Syria but I felt more threatened in Islington’

Level of violence is increasing, says cameraman after robbery by two men claiming to be armed

08 June, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Jimmy Cannon: ‘I love Islington but the level of violence seems to be increasing. Every day there seems to be more and more phone snatching’

AN Australian cameraman who has filmed in Iraq and the Syrian border has said his recent brush with violence in the borough was the “most threatened” he’s ever felt.

Jimmy Cannon, 30, was shooting a segment with his reporter for Seven Network Australia in Exmouth Market on Monday night when he was approached by two men wearing ski masks.

Mr Cannon, who has lived in Canonbury for two years, said he thought filming in the street at around 10.30pm was “reasonably safe compared to other places”.

He told the Tribune: “We are so careful when filming. I looked out of the corner of my eyes and could see two reasonably well-built males on bikes.

“I saw one of them get something out of his pants and put it in his jacket while hiding between two phone boxes.

Reporter Laurel Irving on screen

“He came over to me saying ‘Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi – I’ve got a gun in my jacket’. He told me to unclip my camera and give it to him.”

Mr Cannon added: “I’ve filmed in Iraq and the Syrian border, in places with conflict and terror, but this is the most threatened I’ve felt personally.”

He described how his reporter Laurel Irving tried to grab the camera as she couldn’t clearly see what was happening while blinded by camera lights. He said: “She thought it might be a drunk person who came over. I told her, ‘He’s got a gun, let it go’.”

Mr Cannon called the police who arrived just minutes after the attack which was captured on his car’s dashcam.

The two cyclists filmed on the car’s dashcam

He said: “There’s absolutely been an increase in crime over the lasts two years. We’ve got police chases in Essex Road all the time. I’ve had to call 999 three or four times in the last couple of years after seeing a crime happening out of my window. I love Islington but the level of violence seems to be increasing. Every day there seems to be more and more phone snatching.”

The stolen camera is worth around £15,000, according to Mr Cannon, and the two robbers rode off towards King’s Cross after the snatch.

A Met spokeswoman said: “Police in Islington are investigating a robbery in Exmouth Market, EC1, on Monday, June 4. It is believed at approximately 22.30hrs two males approached a man and a woman who were filming in the area.The suspects demanded they surrendered their camera whilst making threats that they were armed with a firearm. They took the camera and made off on pedal cycles.

“No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 8421/4 June.”


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