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Give us a crossing

PUBLISHED: 16:06 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 09:28 11 August 2010

A LIVELY meeting of victims of violent muggings in a notorious Chadwell Heath subway demanded action to get the crime spot closed. A vote for closure and replacement with a pedestrian crossing was made at the meeting in Somerville Hall, Chadwell Heath, on

A LIVELY meeting of victims of violent muggings in a notorious Chadwell Heath subway demanded action to get the crime spot closed.

A vote for closure and replacement with a pedestrian crossing was made at the meeting in Somerville Hall, Chadwell Heath, on Thursday (29 January).

The protesters want an end to the spate of gang attacks that have hit the Eastern Avenue subway in the past year.

Residents and victims of attacks, police, partnership organisations and the Redbridge ASBO Team attended the meeting.

Despite increased police patrols and no reported incidents since 4 November 2008, residents said they were frightened of walking through the underpass, where the gangs congregate.

Mohammad Tahir, 59, of Tollworth Gardens, told the meeting how he was attacked by two youngsters last summer on his way to a check up in hospital.

He said: "They hit my knees and I couldn't run away.

"They were much stronger than me.

"They could have killed me."

Wilson Chowdry, chairman of the meeting and co-ordinator for Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: "Everyone agreed that the best thing to do is to close the subway."

As a short term solution, they recommended more CCTV cameras should be put up along the A12, both as a deterrent and to help recording possible disturbances and identify the culprits.

A medium term solution of community work in schools and among young people to 'bust up' the gangs was suggested to try and address the core of the problem.

Another suggestion came from 89-year-old war veteran Chris Wilson MBE, who wants to see a bus route extension so that elderly and vulnerable people can avoid using the subway.

The proposals will be presented to TfL and Barking and Dagenham council, who are responsible for the subway.

A pedestrian crossing could take between three to five years to complete.


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