Merton Council has withdrawn one of its school crossing patrols after she was the target of physical and verbal abuse.

The woman who has not been named, became a lollipop lady more than two years ago and has worked at the Durnsford Road crossing since, making sure Wimbledon Park First School pupils cross the road safely on their way to and from school.

She has been moved temporarily to another crossing on Health and Safety grounds meaning the Durnsford crossing will be unattended unless a parent volunteers to help out while the lollipop lady is away.

However, if she decides to stay at her new crossing then Merton will have to try and recruit someone permanent for the Durnsford crossing. The recruitment of lollipop ladies and men has proved very difficult in recent years and it could be some time until a suitable person is found.

A Council spokesperson said: “This is a very sad course of action we have been forced to take but we will not tolerate our staff being abused in any form.

“The attack has been reported to the police and the council’s solicitor has been instructed to take legal action following this and other recent incidents.

“Although we were reluctant to remove the lollipop lady, we were not left with any alternative. Hopefully a volunteer will be found until we know what the long term situation will be.

“This kind of incident is extremely disappointing as the woman loves her job and just wants to be treated with the proper respect so she can carry out her duties and help to keep the children safe.”