Julia Lopez MP has written to the BCU Commander to request additional officers for Hornchurch Town Centre following several high-profile incidents in Hornchurch Town Centre and in Ardleigh Green.
In the past fortnight Hornchurch Town Centre and the surrounding area has seen three high-profile incidents, commencing with reports that two males attempted to lead a woman down an alley on 7 February, before a stabbing occurred in the town centre on 18 February followed by a New City College student being stabbed outside the Ardleigh Green campus on Tuesday 21 February. While the woman involved in the first incident confirmed to the police that, while her hands were grabbed, there was no attempt to lead her away, this was the first incident in worrying sequence of events in Hornchurch.
Julia Lopez MP has this week written to the local Police Commander, Ch Spt. Int. Stuart Bell, to highlight her concern that three serious offences, which can cause significant harm to those involved and worry within the wider community, have occurred within such a short period of time and within a relatively small geographic area. These incidents follow an incident in January in which two males fought each other with knives on the carriageway on the A127 which Julia discussed directly with the Commander.
The Hornchurch & Upminster MP has therefore called for additional patrols in Hornchurch Town Centre and near to the Ardleigh Green Campus (close to the boundary of her constituency) to provide both a visible deterrent to those who may commit further offences and to provide reassurance to the local community. Mrs Lopez also sought advice on discussions within the Met on the deployment of additional officers, provided by the Government’s national uplift of 20,000 officers, as additional Town Teams for those outer-London towns with a significant night-time economy, like Hornchurch, that do not yet have one.
Julia Lopez MP said: ‘I am appalled at these recent knife attacks in Hornchurch and my thoughts are first and foremost with the victims. Alongside the physical harm to those involved, these incidents can cause significant concern within the wider community. That’s why I have renewed my calls for additional police resourcing in towns like Hornchurch, particularly in the evening and weekends, given the night-time economy. I have also corresponded with the College Principal to pass on my thanks to the prompt actions of her staff in providing prompt first aid to the victim and ensuring the security and safety of pupils on site.’