Were we expecting a huge terrorist incident at Chafford Hundred station on Wednesday?

Posted in Law 'n order, Transport at 3:54 pm by henrysgauntlet

I had to go to London on Wednesday, and was catching a train about 3.30pm.   I’ve found that, at that time, the ticket office at Grays station is invariably shut.   There are instructions to use the ticket machine outside the station.   Big problem:-  it’s been vandalised, so that, although still working, it’s impossible to read the screen.  

So, having thought about it, I took the view that the continual throughput from Lakeside meant it was likely the ticket office at Chafford Hundred station would be manned.   So far, that has always proved to be the case, although I accept this post is likely to cause immediate withdrawal of staff!   What’s more the ticket staff are always polite, and even ask me if I need a receipt for expenses  –  I wish! 

On Wednesday, Chafford Hundred station was packed with officialdom.   In addition to a couple of c2c junior station staff, watching the barriers, there were three c2c inspectors present.   Then at the other end of the booking hall, there was a group of four senior c2c staff, suited and booted, engaged in earnest conversation.   That’s always worrying  –  one immediately wonders if plans are afoot to change the service drastically, or to cut the number of trains.

Next time we hear about trains not running because of unavailability of staff, I shall remember all these people.   Yet another case of too many chiefs, and not enough indians?

Then to cap it all, there was a police car parked prominently outside, and two community support officers walking around the booking hall.   And then another appeared, that’s three, all hatless.   Then, from the platform, a police officer appeared, and then, a few minutes later, another one.   Both with hats and loaded down with equipment strapped to various parts of their yellow vests.   So that makes five representatives of the law, all being Transport Police.

Then a train came in, and people flocked out from the platform, and approached the barriers.  I have to say, there appeared to be a good number without tickets.   They were referred to the Community Support Officers, who fished out pencils and scruffy notebooks to take down names and addresses.   Some of them didn’t give information willingly!

Soon after that the London train arrived, and I left them to it.   But I couldn’t help wondering what was going on.

Meanwhile, one has to draw the comparison with what happens if someone breaks into your house, when you won’t be able to get a police officer there for love nor money.


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