Croydon leads the way again: this time in police cut backs

Worrying developments in South Croydon in the last few weeks, with implications for safety on the streets for us all.

First, there was the stabbing of a community support officer in Waddon.

Then, on Friday evening, a policeman was shot.

Safer Neighbourhood Teams – SNTs – were introduced in 2004, part of an initiative of the previous Mayor of London, Ken Livingston.

According to Croydon Council: “The police and partner agencies work together with local communities to identify and tackle issues of concern such as tackling anti-social behaviour, graffiti, disorder or other quality-of-life issues.

“Each safer neighbourhood team has one sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers (PCSOs). The difference between these officers and other community police is that the community, not the Metropolitan Police, set their priorities…

“Every ward in Croydon has its own dedicated safer neighbourhood team.”

Except that will no longer be the case. Under Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, Croydon is to lose six police sergeants from its SNTs – a bigger cut than any other borough in the capital. Our ruling Croydon Council appears to accept this with alacrity.

Do you think that will help to make Croydon a better, safer place to live?

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Croydon leads the way again: this time in police cut backs

  1. I’ve spoken to people on this, as there is a lot of Disabled to support.

    The idea is that with less Sergeants the teams can be moved around the borough to handle hotspots. So, much as your ward will have it’s team, it may well share a sergeant with another team covering another ward. This means that Sergeant can transfer ‘troops’ between boroughs to cover trouble hotspots that build up.

    My concern is thus: What if you get more than one hotspot at a time? What if the local trouble notice The PCSO’s are around less, and start to kick up due to this. Where your PCSO’s are off helping another ward that has trouble?

    It thins out those on the ground, as some of your Ward team will be diverted to other wards. And that means the constant presence/ deterrent bit will be gone. As you will have less people on The Beat in your area if you have a decent area.

    I’m just not convinced on this one. Extra staff to tackle hot-spots is good, but even so. At the price of the regular deterrent that keeps your patch ok? That smells risky to me.

    No-doubt history will tell a tale.

  2. Arfur Towcrate says:

    Strictly speaking, the stabbing took place in Broad Green rather than my home turf of Waddon.

    As for the SNTs, they’re a waste of time and money. Despite living in the borough’s most politically important ward, I’ve never seen these plastic plods on patrol, and when I did contact them about a serious crime, had to chase them to get a reply – which was neither helpful nor informative.

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