East London police will walk you home from the cashpoint ... Just in Case!
The long trek from the hole in the wall to the front door need no longer be a *sweat-soaked solo march past a gauntlet of *hoodies, muggers and ne'er-do-wells. Not if you live in the right bit of east *London anyway.
Nervous cashpoint users in Wanstead and Snaresbrook can now ring the police and arrange for a uniformed officer to escort them home. The hotline, set up by members of the local Safer Neighbourhoods team, is a more personalised take on the system already used by security vans depositing and collecting large sums of money.
Posters advertising the service explain how uniformed police will follow at a "safe distance" to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. But they also admit that the escort scheme has its limits, explaining that officers will only see people home, as "unfortunately the police cannot do your shopping with you".
One officer said the service was not set up because of a high risk of being mugged but as an "extra". She added: "We have had a few calls. We are not doing anything out of the ordinary. We are in the high street. If you want us to walk you home we are still doing our normal police work and we will be behind you."
Metropolitan police statistics reveal that Wanstead and Snaresbrook have an average level of robberies compared with other areas of the capital. There was one business robbery and four personal robberies in March, the last month for which statistics were available.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams, which usually consist of a sergeant, two constables and several community support officers, cover every electoral ward in London.
A spokeswoman for the Met said: "This is local policing addressing local needs around local concerns."
East London police will escort you home from the cashpoint | UK news | guardian.co.uk