Residents at London’s Westbourne Gardens, ‘dumbfounded’ by brutal attack on Emiratis
LONDON // Residents of the quiet and leafy area of Paddington’s Westbourne Gardens are dumbfounded that an attack so brutal has happened on their doorstep.
Omar Budair, 68, a retired university lecturer, said that for most of the 20 years he had lived there it had been peaceful.
“There was a robbery maybe two years ago,” said the Saudi expatriate. “A woman was robbed as she got out of her car, but nothing like this.”
Alex Groves, 32, a property developer, has lived and worked in the area for 10 years.
“I am shocked,” Mr Groves said. “It is normally really quiet.”
Raisa Haeems said the W2 area was multicultural.
“There are Brits, Scottish people, Israelis,” said Ms Haeems, 65.
She said the area had traditionally been a quiet spot, marred only by a few petty crimes over the past year.
“I left my key in the door. Sometimes I am forgetful,” she said. “I was out only 15 minutes but someone had taken my key and stolen my passport.”
Ms Haeems, a resident for six years, had to change the locks on her door as a result.
Her neighbour also had his window broken, she said.
A resident, who did not want to be identified, was shocked at the news but said the Westbourne Gardens area was fringed by some rundown estates.
“So you have to be careful, like everywhere in London,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, of the Westminster Borough, said police officers had moved to reassure residents in the Westbourne Gardens area after the attack on Tuesday.
“Of course, when an incident of a very serious type happens we undertake all sorts of community reassurance work [after] doing a community impact assessment,” he said.
“This is where we go speak to local residents and we design our response around that, such as increased patrols or whatever that response may be. All those processes have happened in this incident.”
Updated: April 26, 2014 04:00 AM