Woman spat on during commute scared to go back to work after lockdown is eased

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A City worker has said she is too scared to return when coronavirus lockdown measures are eased after being spat on during her commute.

Jenny Pattinson, 41, who works in the City of London, said she was shaken and angry after she felt something hit her head from above at Waterloo station in February.

She reported it to the police the same day, but they later told her they were unable to investigate further as the CCTV footage had been overwritten, she said.

London Waterloo

Mrs Pattinson, from Ascot, Berkshire, now does not feel safe in public without her husband, and will continue to work from home for a while once the lockdown is lifted.

She said that racist behaviour and comments are “just a day-to-day reality for Chinese people and this has made it a lot worse”.

Her story is just one set out in new research into people’s experience of anti-Chinese sentiment since the Covid-19 outbreak, led by Professor Binna Kandola.> Mrs Pattinson, who has a Chinese mother and Scottish father, said she had also noticed other commuters avoiding her on the train before lockdown was imposed.> Her mother, who is in her 70s, was sworn at and called “filthy” on a flight in March, while her cousin, a frontline hospital worker, has also received abuse.> Asked what she thinks will happen when lockdown measures are eased, she said: “I think it’ll be much worse."

Mrs Pattinson said it is sad that there has been no high-level condemnation from the UK Government, especially after comments from US President Donald Trump about Covid-19 being a “Chinese virus”.>She urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to speak out, adding: “I think there needs to be somebody standing up and saying, this isn’t right.”>British Transport Police said they received a report from the Metropolitan Police of a woman being spat on at Waterloo Station in February, in early April, by which stage CCTV footage had been automatically overwritten.