Station thefts up by 69 per cent across Barking and Dagenham

Barking station was among those experiencing an increase in crime

Barking station was among those experiencing an increase in crime - Credit: Archant

The number of thefts committed in train stations across Barking and Dagenham has risen by more than two thirds year-on-year, the Post can reveal.

Figures revealed following a Freedom of Information request show 90 burglaries, robberies and other thefts were committed at stations across the borough in 2015 – a 69 per cent rise from the year before.

A total of 33 thefts of personal property were recorded in stations while there were nine reports of stolen bikes.

There were also 143 violent crimes committed in stations in 2015 including 29 common assaults and four sexual assaults.

Sara Gasparri, manager of Couleur Cafe in Barking station, said several customers have had handbags stolen during the past year.

“They had their bags on the back of their chars and someone’s just taken them and walked off without the owner realising,” she said.

“I always tell people to keep their bags with them – if a thief spots an opportunity they will just grab it.”

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Joan Harding, of Rowney Gardens, Dagenham, says she finds stations scary places.

“I’m really wary walking through them,” the 55-year-old admitted.

“Sometimes you see fighting and arguing – all sorts – so I just try and walk through them as fast as I can.

“Stations are dangerous because there are too many people, so you get these opportunistic thieves.”

In total, 326 crimes were reported at the borough’s stations last year.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We remain absolutely committed to providing the safest environment for everyone who uses or works on London’s rail network. After 11 years of reductions in crime there was an increase last year.

“However, this must be seen in the context that during 2015/16, passenger journeys increased by more than two million, bringing the total number of passenger journeys up to more than 11 million per day.”

Steve Burton, Transport for London (TfL)’s director of enforcement and on-street operations, said: “The safety and security of customers and staff is our top priority.

“Working closely with the BTP we have around 700 uniformed police personnel on the Tube and DLR networks, forming part of the 2,500 strong group of TfL-funded officers who work across the TfL transport network keeping customers safe.”

If you witness a crime at a station text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.