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Calls for Barking police station to reopen after 80-year-old robbed

PUBLISHED: 16:43 12 June 2018

An 80-year-old woman was mugged in Bastaple Avenue, Barking on Saturday. CCTV shows two women approach her as she makes her way home.

An 80-year-old woman was mugged in Bastaple Avenue, Barking on Saturday. CCTV shows two women approach her as she makes her way home.

Archant

A tarot card reader has called for Barking police station to reopen after her 80-year-old mum was mugged on the way home from the shops.

The two women can be seen with Ms Sawhney's 80-year-old mother near Thames View Health Centre.The two women can be seen with Ms Sawhney's 80-year-old mother near Thames View Health Centre.

Tina Sawhney’s mum – who asked not to be named – was walking along Bastaple Avenue in Barking when two women stopped her at 12.45pm on Saturday (June 9).

CCTV footage showed the pair – who Ms Sawhney said were 18 to 20-years-old and spoke with east European accents – circling the retired teacher who walks with a stick because of her arthritis.

Ms Sawhney said one of the two asked for directions while the second placed a jumper or blanket over the grandmother’s handbag.

Before she knew it one of the women slipped her hand underneath and pinched £50 from her mum’s bag while the other blocked her from getting away, according to Ms Sawhney. There was a brief struggle before one of the muggers waved goodbye after the pensioner got away.

“She’s been shaken by it,” Ms Sawhney said. “They were preying on old people, people who are vulnerable. They took advantage of my mum’s kindness.

“These people were targeting an elderly woman,” she warned.

Since what happened both parents – who are in their 80s – feel afraid to leave the house.

In the borough there were 118 cases of thefts from people between January and April – the latest Met figures available.

Concerns about a crime wave in the capital have been widely reported with calls for more police funding.

“[Crime] is everywhere,” Ms Sawhney said. “Barking is bad but it’s a London-wide problem. If you’re an old person or child you’re vulnerable because you’re easy to rob.”

She added there weren’t enough bobbies on the beat or CCTV cameras to help people feel safe before calling for Barking police station to reopen.

London mayor Sadiq Khan revealed plans last November to close police station front counters across the capital to save £8m blaming government cuts.

The nearest police counter is in Barking Learning Centre in Town Square open Monday to Wednesday 10am to 6pm and Thursday to Saturday 10am to midnight. It is closed Sundays. On station closures a Met spokesman said: “The changes will allow us to improve the service we provide. Without changes in how we manage resources we would be unable to meet challenges.”

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