'Police could have caught attackers' - victim of Rainham launderette assault
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 September 2014
A mother who was attacked in front of her daughters by women attempting to steal her washing from a launderette has said police acted too slowly.
The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, suffered a black eye and cut lip at the hands of two women on Tuesday morning.
The savage assault began when the mother returned to Launderette in Rainham Road, Rainham to find her washing missing and asked two women and a man where it had gone.
She explained: “I ran to Tesco and when I came back the stuff wasn’t in the dryer. I said ‘who’s taken my washing?’”
“They had a big yellow removal van backed up to the launderette. I could see my washing in it in the bags.
“I jumped in the van to pull the stuff off and one of them pulled my hair back. The two women beat me up.
The mother had been holding her nine-month-old daughter before passing her to her sister, nine, who then locked them both inside their car.
“They watched me get hit,” the mother added. “I got very angry, I saw a frightened look in my little girl’s face.”
The mother was branded “white trash” by the attackers, who threatened to “cut her” before she got away.
After running to the Day Lewis Pharmacy to call police, she was told they would be there in “minutes” - but 45 minutes later there was still no sign.
She added: “They [the attackers] were sitting in the launderette for 20 minutes. If police had turned up when they said they would they would have been arrested.”
The woman’s mother-in-law claims she was “let down” by the borough’s officers.
She said: “She could have been stabbed. What is happening with our borough?”
Police say at the time of the call officers on the borough were dealing with a number of other ongoing incidents and when they got to the scene the victim had left.
Det Ch Insp Phil Rickells said: “We would apologise if the victim felt they did not receive the service that was expected. All efforts are now being made to ensure the report is taken in a timely manner.”