Goodmayes chauffeur says CCTV time limits on buses are ‘strangling any option of justice’

Goodmayes residents Paddy O'Connor and John Zafarsha. Picture: Imogen Braddick

Goodmayes residents Paddy O'Connor and John Zafarsha. Picture: Imogen Braddick - Credit: Archant

A Goodmayes chauffeur who lost £2,000 after being pickpocketed is calling on TfL to extend the “totally unacceptable” amount of time it holds CCTV footage.

Paddy O'Connor, 65, had just got off the EL3 in Goodmayes on July 6 when he realised his wallet was missing.

He was unable to work for two weeks while he got all his documentation replaced, costing him money.

On Thursday, July 25, he got a phone call to say the investigation into the incident will be closed due to lack of CCTV evidence because TfL buses only hold camera footage for 10 days.

"They said that nothing more could be done. It's an absolute joke," Paddy said.

"Having a 10-day limit is totally unacceptable. It should be extended to 30 days. It's unrealistic to have that time window and then destroy all the evidence.

"Buses should have an obligation to send CCTV footage when an incident happens straight to the police - as soon as someone makes an allegation. TfL should make sure buses send the CCTV straight to the police.

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"It's unforgiveable that this goes on. I have been badly let down. They always get off the hook.

"I am not prepared to sit down and let this happen.

"I have lost £2,000 and all my personal details so I really don't feel safe. These CCTV restrictions are strangling any option of justice."

Helen Lee, head of bus operations at TfL, said TfL and the police are "working tirelessly" to reduce crime on buses and this includes running regular covert patrols on the bus network with plain-clothed officers.

"London's transport network is a safe, low crime environment, in part due to the extensive CCTV across the network and the thousands of officers who are dedicated to policing our network," she said.

"We ensure that all bus operators store CCTV footage for a minimum of ten days and, as technology continues to improve in this area, we will make sure it is stored for the longest feasible time for the safety of all passengers."