Chingford News

Safety mirror installed on crime-ridden Chingford bridge

The most recent victim said he was lucky to be alive after being thrown down the stairs during an attempted robbery

By Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

The stairs to the footbridge (credit: LDRS)

Police have sought to reassure Chingford residents following a series of reported crimes on a railway footbridge, as the council promises new safety measures.

Since November last year, six crimes have been reported on the bridge crossing the railway line between Beresford Road and Stanley Road, south of Chingford station.

Most recently, on 19th January, a resident was taken to hospital after being “thrown” down the footbridge stairs during an attempted robbery.

Acting inspector Rob Sewell told a group of about thirty concerned residents at a public meeting last night that police have “stepped up” patrols but that he could not share much information due to the “live investigation”.

Police met with local residents in Beresford Road (credit: LDRS)

Waltham Forest Council has also installed a mirror for pedestrians to see around the corner, alerting them to anyone lying in wait, and hopes to install a CCTV camera soon.

The recent victim, who asked not to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that two men “jumped on” him as he came around a corner at the bottom of the stairs.

He said: “They said ‘where’s your phone?’, I tried to push them away and ran up the stairs but tripped up and they threw me down two flights.

“I got a cracked head with lacerations and dislocated my finger. To be honest, I’m lucky I’m not dead, don’t have brain injuries and haven’t lost the use of my right hand.

“I’ve got two teenage daughters and this is the main thoroughfare. I’m pleased that they’ve put a mirror there but they should have had one already.

“People weren’t aware of how many incidents there have been – if I knew I wouldn’t have used [the alley].”

Beresford Alley with the new mirror (credit: LDRS)

He added that someone also tried to rob him on the footbridge last November but that he was able to run away.

Insp Sewell told residents: “Rest assured that we are taking it seriously. We are working proactively to tackle this issue – trust me.

“We still have issues around Chingford Green as we still have anti-social behaviour and other issues, but police are actively policing this area.

“At the moment [in Chingford Green ward] I’ve got two police officers and one PCSO managed by a sergeant, and they will not be moved out of the area. The only time would be if there’s an operation, like when the late Queen died.”

The inspector, who manages neighbourhood policing in Chingford, urged the crowd to report any incidents so he knows where to “put resources in”.

The council’s neighbourhood manager Chris Georgio said the council hopes to install a CCTV camera soon, which he felt “confident” will be there for at least six months.

However, a woman in the crowd questioned why it had taken six incidents for a CCTV camera to be installed, while a man urged the police to put more resources in the area.

He added: “It’s not sleepy Chingford any more, we know you can’t put everything here but please put enough to make these people piss off.”

In early 2021, three men were jailed for six-and-a-half years each after stabbing a man on the same footbridge during an attempted robbery. They had taken the victim to the footbridge after meeting on a night out in December 2017.