Pensioner's anger at police refusal to log 'crime' (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Wanstead pensioner angry that Redbridge Police are refusing to accept her claim that she was the victim of theft in High Street
A pensioner who believes her bus pass was stolen by a pickpocket says Redbridge Police have treated her like a liar.
Lili Pollard, 88, of Homesdale Close in Wanstead, reported the theft on December 16.
She said: “I was waiting for my bus on Wanstead High Street when a young woman came and sat right next to me.
“She was almost on top of me actually, it felt most uncomfortable.
“I was holding my bus pass but I wanted to blow my nose so I put it back in my pocket.
“All the while I could feel this woman pressing against me and then I felt a fumbling against my pocket.”
A bus pulled up and the woman got on. When Mrs Pollard checked her pocket shortly afterwards her bus pass, which had £5 tucked in it, had disappeared.
She said: “I looked everywhere under the seat to the side, but it was nowhere.
“It was clear to me then that this woman had stolen it. I am 100 per cent certain of it.”
But while Mrs Pollard reported the matter to the police, she was upset to receive a letter shortly afterwards describing the incident as ‘property lost in streets’ because of a lack of evidence.
She said: “I do not like being treated as a dotty old woman, because I am not. I feel like they are calling me a liar.”
Her son Robert Weissman, 61, of Peel Road in South Woodford, was so angry with the decision not to log the case as theft that he wrote a letter of complaint to Redbridge Police, but they have refused to reclassify the incident as a crime.
The latest set of crime figures released by the police yesterday showed an eight per cent drop in crime rates nationally.
Those figures led John Flatley of the Office of National Statistics to comment: "Some lower level crimes, there is a judgment call to be made as to whether the incident attended to by the officer is actually a crime in law or a low level incident that would not get into the crime figures.”
“It is possible in an era of targets to cut crime and pressure on officers to see a reduction in crime that their judgment will sway more to including that in the lower level category."
Mr Weissman said: “What hope is there of getting real action when the police are not even logging crimes?
“We hear all this talk that they will close Wanstead and Woodford Police Stations because there is not enough crime to justify them, but something like this makes me worry the figures are being massaged.”
Redbridge Police have been asked to comment
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