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Residents in fear of subway violence

PUBLISHED: 12:36 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 11 August 2010

A NOTORIOUS subway is stirring up fear in residents after yet another assault has added to a string of violence. A 34-year-old man was assaulted by a group of youths in the underpass that links Mark s Gate Estate to East Road, Chadwell Heath, leaving him

A NOTORIOUS subway is stirring up fear in residents after yet another assault has added to a string of violence.

A 34-year-old man was assaulted by a group of youths in the underpass that links Mark's Gate Estate to East Road, Chadwell Heath, leaving him with and suffered a head injury

On November 18, a 71-year-old man was brutally attacked and kicked by a gang of youths near the underpass.

Christopher Wilson, 89, of Havering Gardens, Marks Gate, is chairman of the Redbridge Pensioners' Forum and campaigned on behalf of the extension of the 499 bus rout, which was scrapped about a year ago.

The retired trade union official is concerned for the safety of elderly people who need to use the subway and wants to stir up a campaign to re-consider the bus route extension along Havering Gardens, Hathaway Gardens and Tolworth Gardens.

He said: "The only safe way of getting to Romford or to Ilford is by going down to Chadwell Heath High Road or Eastern Avenue.

"Until we have got a better way, elderly people will be in danger."

Rev Freddy Farias-Palacios, Minister of the Eastern Avenue Baptist Church, East Road, Romford, which is situated just nearby the subway entrance, said: "The subway is an issue on Friday and Saturday evenings.

"People are afraid. There is now more police presence in the afternoon but when the police go away the kids are still there."

He said he had been in the church since 2005 and that the trouble had been increasing gradually. It's not safe to come here after dark."

A police spokeswoman said: "Barking and Dagenham Police are working closely with our borough and Police partners to formulate a long term solution for the problems with the underpasses at Marks Gate.

"Patrols have been vastly increased, and now include a disorder patrol with additional support from Operation Blunt.

"Regular meetings are being held involving the council and Transport For London and the possibility of ASBOs and ABCs is being investigated.

"Barking and Dagenham Police Partnership continue their commitment to make the borough a safer place to live, work and travel."

Anyone with information about the assault on November 26 or similar incidents, should call Detective Richard Szuszkiewicz on 020 8217 5564 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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