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Woman frightened by abusive attack has to wait two weeks to make police statement

PUBLISHED: 17:20 29 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:04 30 April 2013

Cindy Byrne from Ilford

Cindy Byrne from Ilford

Archant

A woman frightened to go out of her own home because of repeated threats said she was unable to make a police statement for almost two weeks.

Cindy Byrne, 62, said she was first threatened when she asked a man to move a car blocking her driveway in Kensington Gardens, Ilford, on April 11.

Ms Byrne said: “He went into a torrent of abuse and called me a white slag. When I asked again he pushed me in the chest and I pushed him away.”

Mrs Byrne said the man continued shouting threats and kicked the door, leaving a print of his shoe.

Police officers visited Mrs Byrne after she called 101 and said they would pass the case on to her safer neighbourhood team (SNT) in Cranbrook ward.

After hearing nothing the next day, she was told they would be back the following Monday.

But on Monday morning, she was approached again by the same man, who allegedly said he would “punch [Ms Byrnes’s] head so hard [she] wouldn’t get up off the ground”.

Shaken, Ms Byrne again called the SNT, but could not give a statement. She said: “I felt so ill – I had pains in my chest and palpitations.

“I didn’t eat all day, I couldn’t, I just waited for the police but they never came.”

Despite being reassured that someone would visit on Tuesday, after two more days of no contact, Ms Byrne visited Ilford police station to make a statement.

But the single staff member at the counter was already dealing with a member of the public and said Ms Byrne should return later.

Ms Byrne said: “I know the police are stretched but that’s a disgrace.”

Ilford police station, in High Road, will be Redbridge’s only 24-hour front counter following London-wide reforms.

A Redbridge police spokesman said Ms Byrne was visited last Wednesday and that staffing levels at Ilford police station were “appropriate for the time of day” but are being “constantly reviewed” to meet demand.


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