Safer streets for all: preventing and tackling crime in Croydon
In 2017 I said I would tackle knife crime and I’ve kept that promise. I have set up and led the national cross-party campaign in Parliament, published research showing the impact of school exclusions and youth service cuts, and been invited to No.10 to talk about my work uncovering the root causes of violence and finding solutions.
Violence has doubled under the Conservatives and knife crime is at record levels. But it is starting to come down here in Croydon after I helped secure funding and a new Violence Reduction Network. However, it is still a blight on our community.
As your MP I promise to continue my fight to bring this crime wave down, with three priorities to keep our children and our community safe:
1.Preventing crime and intervening early:
More youth clubs, access to youth workers in Croydon A&Es, and more support for our schools
I worked to get the new Legacy Youth Zone set up and opened in Croydon, and I’ve seen the impact it’s already having on our young people, not only keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble, but offering real progression, meaningful training and skills development, and inspiring activities like music and sports.
I want all young people to have access to properly funded youth clubs and youth workers, and I want those youth workers to be recognised and rewarded for the value they bring to our community. I will fight for more funding for Croydon’s youth services to reverse Tory cuts and support Croydon’s kids away from crime before it occurs.
I’ve been working closely with an organisation that puts youth workers in A&Es to work with young people who have been a victim of knife crime, helping steer them away from crime at what is often an eye-opening turning point in their lives. I’ll work to ensure there are teams of youth workers in Croydon A&E as soon as possible.
My research has also uncovered the impact school cuts have had on support for children in schools, and exposed the link between school exclusions and knife crime. I’ll fight for fair funding for Croydon’s schools to make sure all our children get the education and support they need, so they stay in school, are protected from gangs and exploitation, and grow up to access good clean jobs.
2. Feeling safe on the streets:
Restoring community police, new mobile CCTV and better street lighting
The Tories cut over 20,000 police from our streets and neighbourhood policing has suffered the most. Crime detection and prosecution levels are at record lows. I will restore community police on the beat to 2010 levels, encouraging the kind of policing that builds real relationships between officers and our communities, creates trust and improves investigations and intelligence gathering.
I will help our community feel safer on the streets by pushing for new mobile CCTV in Croydon, that can be deployed to target problem areas and respond to issues when they happen, gathering crucial video evidence.
I will campaign for more lighting on our streets to make detecting crime easier and help make walking in Croydon safe for all.
3. Working with kids involved in crime to break the cycle:
Proper funding for work to rehabilitate young people and keep them away from knife crime and out of prison
Youth Offending Teams and other agencies run some fantastic programmes that work with young people caught up in knife crime to uncover and address the root causes of their behaviour. When done properly, it’s proven to work in supporting young people away from crime and keeping them out of prison.
But these services have all had their funding slashed – by more than half. I will fight for proper funding for Croydon’s youth offending services and other council agencies so they can run a range of programmes that can be tailored to each young person’s needs.
I will fight for more, long-term funding for Croydon’s Violence Reduction Network to put it on a sustainable footing and make sure it can continue and improve its great work helping agencies work together to identify and target young people at risk, and so the council can provide vital services to reduce all forms of violence.