Rainham residents protest for crime protection
PUBLISHED: 16:03 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 June 2015
Disgruntled residents have turned out in their droves to demand police action over what they feel is a spike in burglaries and street crime.
Cllr Jeff Tucker organised a demonstration after being inundated with pleas from worried homeowners about a lack of police presence and CCTV in Rainham and Rainham Village.
At full council in March, CCTV was promised when the borough was in a position to afford it, after Cllr Melvin Wallace pointed out crime in Rainham was lower than other areas in Havering.
Home Office figures show from April ‘14 to March this year there were 99 burglaries, 33 fewer than in the previous year.
But at 6pm on Friday, about 60 people congregated by Rainham War Memorial to show they don’t agree. And they had their chance to speak to officers too, after they turned up to manage the crowd.
Cllr Tucker told the Recorder: “We don’t agree with the statistics. I’ve been going to police meetings since 1990 and they always say it’s going down. If that was the case they’d be no crime anymore.
“We want active police presence on the streets to protect us. We have police in their office for three hours a week – three one-hour sessions. If you can’t make it that’s it. They used to work on prevention of crime, now it’s just response.”
Pavel Horbath, 44, has lived in Rainham for 16 years. Two months ago he had a brick thrown through his front windows and on Friday at 4.30pm, another brick attack narrowly missed his daughter’s head and smashed his car windscreen.
Neighbours who saw the culprits running off said they told police where they lived, but no action was taken. “What am I meant to do?” he asked. “They are threatening my life and my children. This is not a joke, this is serious.”
Cllr Tucker said the protest was “just the start” and a march with 6,000-10,000 people would be next.