Wealthy residents living on the same road as Arsenal star Mesut Özil employ ex-Gurkhas to protect them from violent crime after losing faith in the police.
Neighbours of the German midfielder pay up to £4,000-a-year each for the services of LCS Security, which uses former members of the elite British Army unit to keep multi-million pound properties safe.
A team of four retired Gurkhas patrol the half-mile long, tree-lined avenue near Hampstead Heath in North London 24 hours a day and can respond to any incident within three minutes – much faster than the Metropolitan Police.
Özil was one of those residents paying for the service until last year when he stopped.
The World Cup winner has now hired a rival security firm, So Solid Security Services, to guard his £9 million mansion after he and fellow Gunners star Sead Kolasinac were involved in a car-jacking last month.
Mesut Ozil (right, with Sead Kolasinac last month) has hired security firm So Solid Security Services (left, Onder Aydemir, boss of the firm) to guard his £9 million mansion after he and fellow Gunners star Sead Kolasinac were involved in a car-jacking last month
Neighbours of the German midfielder pay up to £4,000-a-year each for the services of LCS Security (pictured, their vans), which uses former members of the elite British Army unit to keep multi-million pound properties safe
Ozil and Kolasinac (pictured with their arms round each other, Ozil left) are under 24-hour guard after they were inadvertently caught in a North London gang war
The footballers faced knife-wielding moped thieves on July 25th followed the pair through Golders Green, north London and tried to steal Ozil’s Mercedes G-Class SUV.
They failed when fellow German Kolasinac, 26, got out of the front passenger seat and chased them away – all captured on dramatic CCTV footage.
Householders in the road where Ozil lives say that in light of the violence and with worsening crime across London, they are happy to pay for private security because they can no longer rely solely on the police.
One said: ‘The houses on this street are worth many millions of pounds so there is of course a great deal of concern about break-ins and mugging.
‘The Met is stretched to the limit with the increasing levels of violent crime across the city so we can’t always be sure they will turn up every time there’s an incident.
‘People here have money and gladly pay for a security team made up of former Gurkhas who are well-trained and well disciplined and more importantly here every day.
‘Two guards work the day and two at night, driving up and down the road keeping an eye out.
‘We can call them for example and ask them to park outside our house if we’re walking back home at night to make sure we get in safely.
Two men had apparently been goading the Solid Security Services team (pictured, a grab from their Facebook page) and making threats against Özil in the early hours of Friday morning
‘It’s those little personal touches that make it worthwhile and provide extra peace of mind.
‘It’s not just this road, other neighbouring streets also use private security firms. I guess it’s a sign of the times.’
Peter Williams, joint owner at LCS security, said he had 20 operations across the area of Hampstead Garden Suburb covering some 500 clients in some of the capital’s wealthiest streets.
He said his business has increased by 20 per cent in the past six months admitting: ‘We are going through a busy period, that is for sure.
‘But crime comes in waves, there’s a constant evolution in how gangs tend to operate.
‘We set up 16-years ago in response to people being followed home and robbed on their driveways, a phenomenon imported from South Africa and the U.S.
‘That is still going on, it’s just that the criminals are becoming more brazen and are now targeting people in the middle of the day as well as late at night.
‘What is also being reported more across the country these days is people being mugged in the street by moped gangs.’
Mr Williams said he employs ex-Gurkhas because they have a fearsome reputation, are extremely well trained and disciplined but are not an intimidating presence for families who live in quiet suburban streets.
He added: ‘The clients we tend to deal with are in a fortunate position in that they can afford to take responsibility for their own security, just as they can afford to pay for private schooling and healthcare.
‘Our patrols are specific to an area and designed to give that added peace of mind to the clients that subscribe.
‘The patrols are complimented by Meet and Greet, Alarm Response and On Call Response Service.
‘Our response times are on average 2-3 minutes whereas the police would take about 15-minutes to respond- if at all.
‘In that respect, we help take some of the responsibility off the police who may be tied up elsewhere.’
However, there can be issues with the private security operations as one of the ex-Gurkhas had to intervene to prevent a burly guard outside Ozil’s front gates from pummelling a man like ‘an MMA fighter’.
Kolasinac getting back into Ozil’s car after being confronted by one of the thugs holding a knife (circled) during an attempted car-jacking on July 25
In the car-jacking on July 25 the pair were ambushed by robbers as Ozil left his £3million home in a black Mercedes G-Class. Kolasinac is seen defending his team-mate
Two men had apparently been goading the security team and making threats against the 30-year-old in the early hours of Friday morning.
The vicious row not only terrified Ozil’s well-heeled neighbours it has since sparked fears of a gangland feud with criminals connected to the pair apparently swearing revenge.
Özil and Kolasinac were both withdrawn from Arsenal’s opening league game of the season at Newcastle United last Sunday amid fears they have become embroiled in a gangland dispute.
The incident outside Ozil’s house involved two men of Turkish heritage who are alleged to have confronted the guards who work for Solid Security Services, who have been hired to maintain a 24-hour presence since the attempted robbery.
The men are understood to have sworn at the security and made threats outside the house at 10pm on Thursday evening before walking off.
They returned three-hours later but as they again approached the front gates the situation turned nasty and, according to an eye witness, there was a fight.
Peter Williams, joint owner at LCS security (pictured, some of their vehicles), said he had 20 operations across the area of Hampstead Garden Suburb covering some 500 clients in some of the capital’s wealthiest streets
The eye-witness told MailOnline: ‘A couple of men aged in their late 20s were walking down the road and had got to about a few metres from the gates when two guards got out of a parked car and went for them.
‘One of the lads was thrown to the ground and pinned down by one of the guards who started punching him in the ribs like an MMA fighter.
‘He was in pain and shouting something, although I couldn’t tell what as it was all in Turkish.
‘We’ve a security firm who look after the road who are all ex-Gurkhas but these security guards are ones Mesut has drafted in for himself after the recent robbery attempt.
‘We had to intervene and tell the other guard to stop and get off the man on the floor as this type of thing just doesn’t happen around here. It’s a nice area.
‘We called the police who turned up and took the two guys who were shouting in the street away in the back of their van. Before the officers left, Mesut came out of his front door.
‘The police politely told him they would keep him briefed as and when.
‘I asked what had gone on and his security team told me that the two men had originally turned up earlier in the evening and abused them and made threats against Mesut.
‘They were warned off but returned about 1am with bottles of vodka apparently in their pockets which they’d been drinking from.
‘The security don’t mess about, they are like nightclub bouncers, so when they saw this pair turn up outside the house again, all hell broke loose.’
Security outside Ozil’s home this week after he was caught up in a ‘security incident’
Ozil (dyed blonde hair) was pictured talking to officers outside Turkish restaurant Likya on Golders Green Road in north London after the car-jacking attack in July
Ferhat Ercan, 27, and Salaman Ekinci, also 27, were arrested and charged under the Public Order Act the following day.
They are due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on September 6.
Onder Aydemir, boss of Solid Security Services, based in Clapton, East London, refused to discuss the incident when contacted by MailOnline.
A local gang has since threatened retribution and to rob Ozil of ‘everything he has’ .
The threats have seen both players go into hiding and their partners fleeing back to Germany.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery said he was unsure when Özil and Kolasinac will be able to return to the side.
He said: ‘We want to be with them as soon as possible and with normality in training and normality to be ready to play.
‘But I don’t know now when they will be available.’