New safety measures near Dagenham park where Qingqing Rao was stabbed and left for dead

Qingqing Rao, aged 29, remains in a critical condition after being stabbed in Dagenham Picture: Met

Qingqing Rao, aged 29, remains in a critical condition after being stabbed in Dagenham Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Eight months after a City worker was brutally assaulted, robbed and left for dead, safety measures near a Dagenham park are finally being tightened up.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP (left) at the Castle Green Park street meeting.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP (left) at the Castle Green Park street meeting. - Credit: Archant

Business analyst Qingqing Rao, 30, needs round-the-clock care and remains in a prolonged vegetative state after being stabbed in the head in Castle Green.

“She was cruelly taken away from me the day before Valentine’s Day, a few days before our 10-year anniversary, for nothing more than her handbag and its contents,” said husband Ansgar Wenzel.

Now Barking and Dagenham Council has announced new measures to help keep residents safe.

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge, police officers and Matthew Cole, the council’s director of public health, met with residents on Friday afternoon to discuss the plans.

Petitioners discuss safety measures around Castle Green Park.

Petitioners discuss safety measures around Castle Green Park. - Credit: Archant


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The meeting in Kemmel Road followed a petition by concerned families, who listed several proposals to reduce crime in the area.

Criminals were hard to catch when they could simply slip away through the housing estate into unlit bushes and trees, said petition organiser Kashif Anjum.

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“The biggest issue is the open entrances to the park,” he said.

“For the people committing small crimes in these streets, it’s very easy for them to run off.”

The shocking attack on Qingqing Rao, the 38-year-old added, left residents feeling enough was enough.

“She was stabbed right where my car is parked,” Kashif said.

“My car has been targeted twice. It feels really bad that somebody feels so brave they can actually stand in your driveway and attack your car.

“I’ve seen cars stolen, driven into the park and set alight.”

“With the park fenced off on three sides,” he asked, “why leave it open from the two roads bordering the estate?”

A council spokesman said: “We are currently reconfiguring part of Castle Green Park and the footpath through to Goresbrook Road.

“A section of the park will be fenced off and a footpath from the A13 through to Reginald Ellingworth Street will be developed.

“Additional lighting and a sign to guide pedestrians through the newly designated route will also be installed.”

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