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Over the past few months I have been working on how we can act against the rising incidence of children being mugged on their way to and from school.  

Following recent interventions, the police have reported that personal robbery offences have fallen by 40% compared from December to January compared to the previous four-week period. But we must make sure not to rest on our laurels, and I have written to TfL and the Metropolitan Police with further actions I believe will work effectively against this violence and crime.  

I have been reassured by the police’s recent actions in meetings I have held with them and head teachers from the affected schools. As I’m sure many of you will be aware, students on their way to and from school have been particularly targeted in and around the Park Hill, Lloyd Park, and Ashburton Park areas. 

The police’s measures include operations around robbery hotspots with the intention of reducing school age robberies, a scheme that resulted in seven arrests and, in some areas, a 100% reduction in key areas that previously suffered from a high amount of robberies. Bespoke operations have also been carried out in and around the town centre which have resulted in multiple arrests for offences including possession of drugs with intent to supply.  

I have been particularly pleased to see facial recognition technology being utilised in the town centre, which has resulted in 20 wanted fugitives being apprehended.  

However, this is by no means the end of the road. There has been some promising progress but we have to make sure this trend continues in the longer term.  

With this in mind, I have written to the Metropolitan Police requesting that they ensure that such facial recognition technology is used more regularly in Croydon. Currently it appears as though the tech is used for intense but brief periods of time, and provision should be made for this to be more permanent.

I have also written to TfL, asking that they put provisions in place to make it easier for bus and tram drivers to call for assistance in case of an emergency. I have been made aware that the absence of this has allowed offenders to get away un-apprehended. 

Please get in touch with me with any further concerns you may have on [email protected].