Britain's Mean Streets

PETER DENCH FOR TIME

HELP WANTED: With the support of Kids Company, Londoner Danny Mullins, at left, wants to become a plumber and dreams of starting a family. His friend Chris Abnett, at right, who is also being helped by the charity, has qualified as a painter and decorator, but has struggled to find work

Jason Steen isn't an obvious target for muggers. The 40-year-old heads his own company advising on mergers and acquisitions, and usually strides through life like a Master of the Universe. This evening, though, he looks shaken. Two days earlier, he was accosted outside his central London home by eight kids — the youngest was 11 — who punched him to the ground, hustled him to the nearest cash machine and forced him to reveal his PIN number. After a series of attacks in the area, local residents have gathered in Steen's apartment to talk to the policeman handling the case. His...

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