Pensioners ‘under siege’ in Whitechapel over harassment by youths

Pensioners are being terrorised by a gang of youths they say are making them feel “under siege” in their sheltered block of flats in London’s East End.

They finally had security gates installed on Friday after three years of abuse and harassment at Hogarth Court off Commercial Road in Whitechapel.

But within an hour the cabling was ripped out and the youths were back menacing the entrance to the block .

The pensioners called police twice, but say officers never turned up. Now they have written to the mayor of Tower Hamlets who has promised to look into their complaints.

“The warden called police but was told we’re not a priority,” retired projects manager George Weller, 69, told the East London Advertiser.

“My wife was abused and chased down the street. We’ve had racist graffiti scrawled on our walls using swearwords at us.

“We’ve been asking for a security gate for three years. It was finally fitted on Friday, then wrecked an hour later.”

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Diabetic John Walton, also 69, a retired telephone operator who has recently had a heart operation, said: “I was chased by youths. They flicked lighted cigarettes at me from inside the gate as I was trying to leave.

“We shouldn’t have to live like this at our time of life when we’ve retired.

“But we’re all trapped in here. It’s like being under siege. We’re all terrified to go out.”

One woman in the block has been abused several times and claims she was sexually assaulted on one occasion. The other seven women, aged 65 to 95, are all terrified to leave the building.

The security gates were installed after the pensioners had a meeting with their housing association. Now emergency repairs have been promised.