The east end of the District line has been bugged by problems of violence for some time. The latest dangerous invident was on Thursday afternoon, when someone shot at drivers between West Ham and Bromley-By-Bow with an air rifle. At least one D and one C stock were hit. The service, already running about three-quarters of an hour late, was suspended from Plaistow to Whitechapel.
The C stock cab windscreen was hit in at least four places, with several windows broken elsewhere on the train. Fortunately the cab glass is missile-proof so did not break, but the incident was still traumatic for the driver who, unsurpringly, had to go home. The D stock had been hit first and was detraining at Bromley-By-Bow, which left the following train stranded outside the station, still in the firing line and having difficulty contacting the controller.
So once again, our communications systems prove just how inadequate they are. And once again, despite many years of union demands for more protection for staff in known danger areas for attacks, the company seems unable to protect us effectively.
What can we expect now? A burst of extra police patrols for a couple of weeks? Is it too much to hope for that LUL should join up with the local community and local authorities to address why it is that there is a problem in the area and try to help people before they take up such irrational, dangerous behaviour? And in the meantime take some urgent action to make trains and stations safer?