Safety mirror installed on crime-ridden Chingford bridge
The latest victim said he was lucky to be alive after being thrown down the stairs during an attempted robbery
By Josh Mellor, Reporter for Local Democracy
Police have tried to reassure Chingford residents after a spate of reported crimes on a railway bridge as council promise new safety measures.
Since November last year, six crimes have been reported on the bridge that crosses the railway line between Beresford Road and Stanley Road south of Chingford station.
Most recently, on January 19, a resident was taken to hospital after being “thrown” down the steps of the pedestrian bridge during an attempted robbery.
Acting Inspector Rob Sewell told a public gathering last night to a group of about thirty concerned local residents that police had “intensified” patrols but he was unable to share much information due to the “live investigation”.
Waltham Forest Council has also installed a mirror for pedestrians to see around corners to alert them to anyone lurking and hopes to install a CCTV camera soon.
The latest victim, who asked not to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that two men “jumped” on him as he rounded 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 and they threw me two floors down.
“I have a broken head with lacerations and a dislocated finger. To be honest, I’m lucky I’m not dead, I don’t have brain injuries and I don’t have the use of my right hand anymore.
“I have two teenage daughters and this is the main thoroughfare. I’m glad they put a mirror there, but they should have had one by now.
“People didn’t know how many incidents there were – if I had known I wouldn’t have used it [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 we take it seriously. We are proactively working to address this issue – trust me.
“We are still struggling around Chingford Green as we still have anti-social behavior and other issues but police are actively monitoring this area.
“At this moment [in Chingford Green ward] I have two constables and a PCSO headed by a sergeant and they are not being moved out of the area. The only timing would be if there is an operation, such as on the death of the late Queen.
The inspector leading neighborhood police in Chingford urged the crowd to report any incidents so he knows where to “deploy resources”.
Council neighborhood manager Chris Georgio said the council hopes to install a CCTV camera soon, which it is “confident” will stay there for at least six months.
However, a woman in the crowd questioned why it took six incidents to install a surveillance camera, while a man urged police to deploy more resources in the area.
He added: “It’s not sleepy Chingford anymore, we know you can’t put everything in here but please put enough to piss these people off.”
In early 2021, three men were sentenced to six and a half years each after they stabbed a man on the same footbridge in an attempted robbery. They had brought the victim to the pedestrian bridge after a meeting one evening in December 2017.