Commuters air crime concerns at ‘ghetto’ Ilford station

Ilford Station

Ilford Station - Credit: Archant

Commuters have welcomed extra police patrols at a “ghetto” train station in a bid to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

The comments come after British Transport Police (BTP), the Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Council launched a joint initiative to tackle crime in and around Ilford station in Cranbrook Road.

Shah Mustafa, 19, from Dagenham, who said he was injured after two people were fighting in a chicken shop nearby, said the area was “very different” after dark.

“There’s always a problem here – young boys involved in gang activity and drug use,” he said.

Aaron Mahmut, 24, from Romford, said: “You get gangs of school kids and stuff, but it’s like that everywhere these days.”

Ion Tirca, 28, from Ilford, said: “I’ve seen a fight here once and there are certain types of people here all the time asking for drugs.”

Naj Khan, 23, said: “There’s too many people drinking here.”

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The patrols have sparked debate online. On Facebook, Lynn Abramovici said: “Ilford can be quite a scary place. Lots of yobby youths hang around looking for trouble.”

Steve Tachauer said: “Since I left [Ilford] in 1969, I’ve been back only once, last month, and waited outside the station to meet my siblings. What a dreadful place.

“I’m in my 60s now and felt very uncomfortable waiting, despite it being in broad daylight.”

Aamir Razaq said: “Over the last 10 years it’s turned into a ghetto. Police can’t do very much to clean the place up – it’s too little too late.”

Valentines Ward’s Cllr Khayer Chowdhury, who went out on patrol with BTP officers, urged commuters to report crimes.

“We will continue our efforts to relentlessly chase and tackle those who commit crime in the area,” he said. “I strongly encourage commuters to work with us.”

BTP’s Insp John Loveless said the initiative was about “reassuring” station staff and the public.

“We are aware there are challenges in and around Ilford station,” he said. “We will take robust action against anyone who is seen to be breaking the law.”

Call 101 to report crimes.