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Moped crime: ‘Terrified’ residents meet with police to discuss increase in offences

PUBLISHED: 15:30 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 19 July 2017

Police officers met with residents to discuss moped crime. Picture: Nicholas West

Police officers met with residents to discuss moped crime. Picture: Nicholas West

Nicholas West

Frustrated and angry, residents were left wanting more after a meeting with police on moped crime.

More than 150 people gathered at Elm Park Baptist Church, Ambleside Avenue, Hornchurch, on Saturday, for a public meeting led by Sgt Ian Handley and dedicated ward officer for Elm Park Pc Michael Shepherd.

The meeting - although primarily held for Elm Park residents - was held in response to residents’ growing concerns and attracted people from around the borough.

It began with talks on the main issues affecting the area, including burglaries, drugs and safety advice on locking PVC doors.

However, an outburst from residents soon followed, asking for answers on what was really on everyone’s minds.

Pc Shepherd said: “If you are seeing two people on a moped with no registration, if you see two people on a moped wearing balaclavas and especially in the heat here, it’s very suspicious.

“If you think it’s suspicious, then please let us know.”

Sgt Handley then opened the floor for questions, where a resident asked: “what are you doing to stop moped crime?”

In response, Sgt Handley said after using different tactics, there had not been any incidents in the past five days which many disputed but he then clarified this was in regards to Elm Park specifically.

He then went on to describe the work police are doing with traffic and park officers and ward officers who have been speaking to businesses and gathering intelligence, which has already led to the recovery of some stolen mopeds.

Some were sympathetic towards the officers, saying their jobs are “incredibly hard”.

But many said they were “terrified” and wanted action to be taken now.

Pc Shepherd said: “We understand and we completely emphasise, we are not standing here ignoring what you’re saying.

“We’re standing here, trying to give you as much crime prevention advice as we can.”

Sgt Handley added: “You ask us what we are doing about it? What we can.”

To contact the Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Dockerill, email julia.dockerill.mp@parliament.uk, for the Romford MP Andrew Rosindell email andrew.rosindell.mp@parliament.uk and for Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas email jon.cruddas.mp@parliament.uk

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