Overall crime falling in Redbridge but violence on the up as shootings and stabbings unsolved
- Credit: Archant
“Everyone in Redbridge knows someone who’s been mugged or attacked and people don’t feel safe,” says Cllr Ross Hatfull.
“They keep saying crime is going down but talking to my residents, they keep saying their vans have been broken into or they’ve been burgled or robbed.”
Cllr Hatfull knows too well the violence residents are subjected to in the borough, having been stabbed last year outside his home in Seven Kings when he refused to give robbers his phone and wallet.
He said: “I think Redbridge is getting less safe. There’s a lot of low level crime and groups hanging around Ilford town centre make people feel afraid.”
For some, the latest stabbing in Ilford has confirmed their fears about crime but for others it has been the tipping point after a long line of attacks.
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According to newly released figures from the Metropolitan Police, overall crime is falling in Redbridge but violence is bucking the trend.
From October 2012 to September, 4,116 attacks were recorded under “violence against the person” – up on just over 4,000 the year before.
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It was the one of the most common types of offence in Redbridge, along with motor vehicle crime, burglary and anti-social behaviour.
Redbridge Police borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams said figures she has to date show violent crime is still falling.
She believes a lot of attacks are committed by gang members travelling in from Newham and Waltham Forest after being displaced by police initiatives there.
“We are really lucky in this borough that we don’t have the kind of problems those boroughs have, even though we are right next to them,” she added.
“There were 2,500 fewer victims of crime in Redbridge last year than the year before and that’s down to the hard work of our officers.”
Many residents have called for a more visible police presence to deter criminals around hotspots like Ilford town centre.
A new policing model that came in last month increased street patrols but because they are done in more areas, over longer hours, officers are spread more thinly in some areas.
Nearly 90 more police officers will be arriving in the next two years but front counters at Wanstead Police Station and Woodford Police station were closed and replaced by contact points.