A PENSIONER who had her purse stolen getting off a bus as she went to hospital has criticised police for a lack of response to her plight.

West Hendon resident Thomasina Mitchell had just got off the 32 bus at Edgware Community Hospital just before midday on Friday when she realised her bag was open and the purse was gone.

Inside was £140 in cash she was going to use to pay a phone bill, as well as her credit card.

The 68-year-old widow said: “I was going to the hospital as I had fallen over earlier in the day and wanted to get it seen to.

“I was sitting down but when I got off my way was blocked by a woman and there were two others standing close to me, I asked her to move and she did, but after I got off and realised my purse was gone.

“I was devastated and so angry. I had the only picture I have of my husband on his own in the purse, so I didn't just lose the money but something incredibly valuable sentimentally to me as well.

“I'm so angry because I bet they have just taken the cash out and dumped the purse which is devastating.”

Marsh Drive resident Mrs Mitchell said she was upset by the police response to the crime, after being told it was not worth their time looking through CCTV footage, despite one officer telling her they had several reports of these women pick pocketing on buses.

She added: “I gave them the details of when and where I got on and off the bus, but they said there were too many buses on tat route and it would take them too long.

“What's the point in having CCTV if they're not going to use it to solve crimes like these? I gave them the times I was on the bus is in not worth at least check to see if they can spot these women?

“If they are persistent offenders what are they doing to catch them? Why are they not doing more to catch them?”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Roycroft, of Barnet Police, said “We are constantly reviewing our evidence gathering processes. However, in this particular case we could not pursue the latter.

“We are working with Transport for London to ensure the safety of the public.”

He added while buses may have CCTV it is often the case the cameras do not give definitive evidence on crimes like pickpocketing, which happen in close proximity.