Concerns over Chingford robbery blackspot

Police have sought to reassure Chingford residents following a series of robberies or attempted robberies on a frequently-used railway footbridge.

Local officers say that there have been six “incidents” since November last year on a footbridge crossing the railway line between Beresford Road and Stanley Road, south of Chingford station.

On January 19, a resident was taken to hospital after being “thrown” down the footbridge stairs during an attempted robbery.

Acting inspector Rob Sewell told a group of about thirty concerned residents at a public meeting on Wednesday that police have “stepped up” patrols but that he could not share much information due to the “live investigation”.

Waltham Forest Council has also installed a mirror for pedestrians to see around the corner and hopes to install a CCTV camera soon.

The recent victim, who asked not to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that two men “jumped on” him as he came around a corner at the bottom of the stairs.

He said: “They said ‘where’s your phone?’, I tried to push them away and ran up the stairs but tripped up and they threw me down two flights.

“I got a cracked head with lacerations and dislocated my finger. To be honest, I’m lucky I’m not dead, don’t have brain injuries and haven’t lost the use of my right hand.

“I’ve got two teenage daughters and this is the main thoroughfare. I’m pleased that they’ve put a mirror there but they should have had one already.

“People weren’t aware of how many incidents there have been – if I knew I wouldn’t have used [the alley].”

He added that someone also tried to rob him on the footbridge last November but that he was able to run away.

Insp Sewell told residents: “Rest assured that we are taking it seriously. We are working proactively to tackle this issue – trust me.

“We still have issues around Chingford Green as we still have anti-social behaviour and other issues, but police are actively policing this area.

“At the moment [in Chingford Green ward] I’ve got two police officers and one PCSO managed by a sergeant, and they will not be moved out of the area.

“The only time would be if there’s an operation, like when the late Queen died.”

The inspector, who manages neighbourhood policing in Chingford, urged the crowd to report any incidents so he knows where to “put resources in”.

The council’s neighbourhood manager Chris Georgio hopes to install a CCTV camera soon, which he felt “confident” will be there for at least six months.

A woman in the crowd questioned why it had taken six incidents for a CCTV camera to be installed, while a man urged the police to put more resources in the area.

He added: “It’s not sleepy Chingford any more, we know you can’t put everything here but please put enough to make these people piss off.”

Early last year three men were jailed for six-and-a-half years each after stabbing a man on the same footbridge during an attempted robbery.

They had taken the victim to the footbridge after meeting on a night out in December 2017.

The Met has been contacted for comment.

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter