Over the past few months I have heard increasing reports of violence, muggings, and general anti-social behaviour in some parts of Croydon. This escalation has been alarming, and I feel as though a number of steps need to be taken in response.
These incidents reflect a national picture of rising serious violence. Across England and Wales over the past year, statistics show a 13% increase in recorded gun crime, an 11% increase in recorded robberies, and a 10% increase in the number of recorded thefts. In Croydon more specifically, over the last five years we have seen the number of thefts rise by 31% and instances of criminal damage increase by 10%.
In the Park Hill and Lloyd Park areas, what has been especially concerning is the news that students at our local schools are those who have been particularly targeted by these individuals and gangs. Assaults and muggings have been reported as children go to and from school, around tram stops and poorly lit parkland areas.
The police have taken actions in conjunction with schools to begin working against these crimes. For example, students have been advised to ‘buddy up’ on their way to and from school. To support this work I believe there should also be:
- Increased police presence at transport hubs at the start and end of the school day.
- Lighting at key transport nodes like Lloyd Park tram stop.
- Restoration of neighbourhood policing in the local area during the working day, with more neighbourhood police and PCSOs patrolling our streets daily.
- New powers for police to ban repeat anti-social offenders from local areas and stamp out public drinking and drug use.
- Better police consultation with yourselves, the residents, giving you a say in how your local area is policed and priorities decided upon.
- Increasing local police access to cutting edge technology and methods, including data analytics and hotspot policing which would lead to streamlined identification and prosecution procedures.
I will be campaigning for these changes. Please also take part in our survey to record any improvements you want to see in your local area: https://survey.labour.org.uk/croydon-south.