‘We are living in fear’: Ilford residents call for urgent action to end ‘upsurge’ in violent crime
PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 September 2019
Ilford residents say they are “living in fear” and have called for urgent action from their MP and the council following a recent “upsurge” in violent crime.
Police were called to Pownsett Terrace, next to Barking Park, at 11.23pm on Saturday, August 31, to reports of a man who had been stabbed.
A second man was then found in Pownsett Terrace, also suffering stab injuries.
Both men, in their 20s, were taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital.
One of the men is in a life-threatening condition and the other is now in a stable condition, but remains in hospital.
A teenager was also stabbed but he left the scene and went to hospital. He has since been discharged.
A neighbour told the Recorder that she has not felt safe in the area for years and has called on the council to install CCTV and clean up the streets.
"We have lived here for eight years," the mum-of-two said. "My husband has lived here for 40 years and he thinks it's got worse. We are planning to move away but we can't afford it.
"We have reported our concerns to the MP, to the council, to lots of people, but nothing gets done.
"It is small things like getting the trees cut back so it means they can't hide things there. They just throw stuff in the trees as soon as they see police. It's so easy for them to get away with it around here.
"We want the area cleaned up so there aren't any hiding places."
She said one of the men who was stabbed was knocking on doors for help, but residents were too scared to open their doors.
"Neighbours said a car was waiting for him and they got out with a machete and stabbed him again," she said. "Residents are scared to open their doors, which is really sad.
"They [the council] need to do something. We are living in fear.
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"I ask my husband to call me when he opens the car door so I know if something happens to him between the car and the house.
"It's happening too much now. When you see it happen so often, it becomes normal. How can this be normal?
"They need to put up cameras but they say it's too expensive.
"We should not have to put up our own CCTV, but people are."
Another resident who has lived in the area since 1983 said: "It just never stops. It's horrible for me - it's got worse.
"I've lived on this estate for 35 years. It was really different to how it is now. It's very sinister now.
"I never thought I would fear leaving my own house around here. I feel really scared - it's very dangerous now."
Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, said he would be raising the issue in Parliament at the next possible opportunity.
"I am very concerned at the upsurge in violent crime recently," Mr Gapes said.
"We have been saying for a long time that we need more police and we need to make sure that our communities feel safe.
"I give my full support to the police in finding those responsible for these horrible crimes."
A crime scene remains in place at Pownsett Terrace and officers are appealing for witnesses who may have been in the area to come forward with information, whether that is to the police directly, or anonymously via Crimestoppers.
No arrests have been made and no weapons have been recovered.
Officers from East Area CID investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD8875/31August.
If you have information that could help the investigation, but don't want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call or IP address.
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