Rainham veteran 'doesn't sleep well' due to 'nightmare' repeated garage break-ins

Garage Break Ins

Several garages in Ford Lane, Rainham, were broken into at the end of May - Credit: Linda Bennett

A disabled veteran feels “unsafe” in her home after a spate of break-ins in Rainham.  

Havering Council and the Met Police have told this newspaper they are aware of garages being repeatedly broken into on Ford Lane. 

Linda Bennett, who was in the army for 26 years, has lived in a bungalow on the road for around 30 years. 

The 71-year-old walks with crutches and uses a scooter because she suffered spinal injuries in an accident during her service, and the property is adapted for her needs.  

She also travels frequently to Hampshire to visit her son.   

However, when she returned from a trip to Hampshire in May, Linda found her garage had been vandalised - again.  

Broken garage door

Linda said she has spent "hundreds" on attempting to secure her garage - Credit: Linda Bennett

“I feel unsafe and don’t sleep well when I’m at home, but I love my home as it’s suitable for me,” Linda said. 

Most Read

She said she has paid “hundreds on locks, bolts, bars” which have all been broken by vandals.  

“I have been broken into so many times, it’s just ridiculous and the whole thing is a nightmare."

A Havering Council spokesperson said it "fully understands Mrs Bennett’s concerns and are aware of the issues". 

They said: “We continue to work with the police to support any investigation into the reports of break-ins and other anti-social behaviour.”  

Public community support officer (PCSO) for South Hornchurch, Gemma Large, said following the May incident “several attempts” to speak to Linda have been made, but she hasn’t been at home. 

She said: “There are 11 garages in total, five that still have their original doors that are locked and seem to be in use, the other six are now properly boarded up.

"However, this has not been the case for some time allowing them to be misused [by fly-tipping and some antisocial behaviour by youths].” 

The pathway is a cut-through in the local area, added PSCO Large.    

Linda Bennett

One of the Ford Lane garages - Credit: Linda Bennett

PCSO Large said the safer neighbourhood team patrol the area regularly and will continue to make contact with residents to “offer reassurance”. 

The council’s spokesperson added: “We are also looking at different ways in which we can help increase security in that area.” 

It follows a spree of break-ins at the back of Abberton Walk in Rainham.