In a city the size of London, it comes as something of a surprise that police officers are now escorting people home from ATMs.
Even more of a surprise is that the initiative, which includes a hotline set up by the Safer Neighbourhoods team, is being trialled in Wanstead and Snaresbrook which have ‘average’ robbery statistics, unlike some other areas of east London. Even the Redbridge Safer Neighbourhoods team newsletters say their number one priorities are speeding vehicles and bogus callers.
So doesn’t this send the message that the police have got no villains to apprehend? Or that it’s not safe to walk the streets of Wanstead with £20 in your pocket? Not according to local officers who describe the service as an ‘extra’.
Sadly, this ‘extra’ is only for local pedestrians on their way home and doesn’t extend to high-speed escorts from the high street shops complete with blues and twos. We would have found that quite exciting.