Wapping knifepoint robberies trigger renewed safety fears

Police patrols were stepped up around Wapping Woods after two women were stabbed there in December

Police patrols were stepped up around Wapping Woods after two women were stabbed there in December - Credit: Archant

Furious residents have accused police of breaking promises to improve safety in their neighbourhood, after two knifepoint robberies in one weekend.

Police and councillors pledged to step up patrols and improve security around Wapping Woods after two lone women were stabbed there in separate incidents in December.

But after last week’s robberies, residents have accused them of reneging on the promises, which were made at January’s ill-tempered public meeting on community safety held in the wake of the stabbings. Carol Silverman, 53, is one of a number of vigilante mums who had taken to the streets in an attempt to drive away the drug dealers and thugs blighting their neighbourhood.

“Everything at that meeting that the police and councillors said - absolutely nothing’s been done,” said the Agatha Close resident. “It’s all empty words and promises.

“We had our own little patrol going and they told us ‘stop that, we will do it’, but they don’t.

“We have to do it ourselves because we have got absolutely nothing. They [police] did for a month afterwards, and since then we have got nothing.”

But Tower Hamlets Council insisted safety improvements had already been made in the area, with more set to follow.

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A spokeswoman added: “Further work has been identified for the area including the possibility of extending lighting further and installing permanent CCTV.”

Police were called to two separate incidents in the area over the weekend of June 1-2. In one, a 34-year-old woman had her phone stolen at knifepoint while she was out jogging on a Sunday afternoon; while in another a couple were mugged, also at knifepoint, in Garnet Street on Saturday night.

A man was charged in relation to the stolen phone, but no arrests have yet been made over the mugging.

Nobody from the police was available for further comment.