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Flashback: ‘Snooping’ police, GP burglaries and bus crime

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 October 2018

60 years ago.

60 years ago.

Romford Library

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 60, 40 and 20 years ago

40 years ago.40 years ago.

1958

The “shocking” waste of manpower involved in police officers “snooping” around among motorists was denounced in the House of Commons by Ron Ledger, MP for Romford.

He described how his own car was watched for an hour.

Mr Ledger said deterioration of relations between police and public, referred to by the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was due to the fact that officers were having to do jobs they did not like doing.

20 years ago.20 years ago.

Mr Ledger said: “I do not think that any police officer likes having to snoop around motorists who leave their cars for five or 10 minutes while doing some essential business.

“There are police officers who are out doing that as their specific jobs.

“I have been to court a couple of times myself and on each occasion, these special police officers expressed disgust at having to do the job.

“It was pointed out how much more useful work could be done.”

1978

Police believed drugs racketeers were behind a series of raids on doctors’ surgeries.

Officers were appealing for GPs to boost security, especially with blank prescription forms.

The gangs ransacked two surgeries in Hornchurch and another in Elm Park in a search for the forms – other valuables were left untouched.

They got away with a total of 1,800 prescription forms from two of the victims.

The forms were taken from Dr A L Jaiswal’s surgery in Easedale Drive, Elm Park, and Dr Helen Twardzicki’s surgery in Stanley Road, Hornchurch.

They left their third target in nearby Station Lane empty-handed.

Police feared the stolen forms would be used by drug peddlers to meet demand on the black market.

1998

Bus services in Romford were subject to more crime than all other areas in east London put together, said bus chiefs.

And police confirmed the problem was so serious that plain clothes officers in unmarked cars followed some buses to spot trouble makers.

The shock revelations came after a 25-year-old woman was injured by a piece of concrete hurled through a 247 bus window in North Street, Romford.

A spokesman for bus operators Stagecoach East London said: “Romford is our worst area in the whole of east London and there is more trouble for us there than in all of east London put together.”

Stagecoach East London said the levels of crime it experienced were so high it was installing CCTV cameras on specific buses where trouble was rife.

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