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Petition to make Erith train station safer after sexual assault

PUBLISHED: 11:03 16 December 2010

MUST CREDIT Sunil Prasannan Erith Station

MUST CREDIT Sunil Prasannan Erith Station

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A rail passenger fearful there will be another serious sex attack at an isolated station has started an on-line safety petition.

Terri Allington says it is 'only a matter of time' until another sexual assault happens at Erith Station

Terri Allington, 28, from Hind Crescent, Northumberland Heath, is collecting support in her bid to make Erith Station safer for lone women after she heard about a sexual assault that happened there last month.

She says that the station has become a no-go zone for people travelling on their own since a taxi office, which was staffed until late at night, was closed down. Now she wants the service to be reopened.

Ms Allington, who owns a marketing business, said: “When I saw the posters I was shocked but at the same time I was not surprised. It is only a matter of time until it happens again.

“I feel far safer walking the streets than being at Erith Station - and now I try to avoid it and use Barnehurst, which is further away.”

She added: “At least when there was the taxi office which was a safe haven, but now there is nothing. It is very frightening.”

Two men have been charged following an attack on a 17-year-old girl on the footbridge at the station in the early hours of November 20, and police are still searching to for any witnesses to the serious sexual assault.

The two men, aged 18 and 20, are in custody and will appear at Woolwich Crown Court on January 11.

A spokesman for Southeastern said: “We are extrememly sorry about the incident.

“Erith Station is manned from 6am until 7.25pm Monday to Saturday, and the CCTV is monitored 24 hours a day.

“Statistically the station is a much safer place to be than on the streets, and the British Transport Police carry out regular crime audits where they look at how the station is lit and supervised.

Ms Allington will present her petition to Bexley council early next year, and hopes as many people as possible will back her campaign.

Anyone who saw the attack or has any information should telephone the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B4/LSA of 22/11/2010. To sign Ms Allington’s petition go to http://www.all-marketing.co.uk/petition.html

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