Town centre police team to be cut by more than half

The police team operating in Croydon’s Town Centre is to be more than halved, from 22 to 10 officers.
It is little more than six months since the 8/8 riots hit Croydon, when a thin blue line tried to hold off the mayhem in North End and around the Whitgift Centre, as areas of London Road were trashed for lack of available officers, residents had to lock themselves in their homes in fear, and footage of the blaze at Reeves Corner became a symbol for Broken Britain with TV stations around the world.

But now Inside Croydon learns that with the Metropolitan Police‘s funding under severe pressure, Croydon’s new Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent David Musker, has been forced to strip the Town Centre of the majority of its policing strength.

This latest move follows an earlier cut back, when Croydon’s police unit in the Town Centre was merged with the Fairfield ward neighbourhood team. In total, six sergeants have been cut from the borough’s well-regarded Safer Neighbourhood teams.

Other cuts have been made around the rest of the borough, too, with Kenley station being earmarked for a cost-cutting closure.

In the Town Centre, the 10 officers who will be left on the staff list will represent just the bare minimum to fulfil the agreement through the Business Improvement District, or BID, under which the local businesses pay for five officers on condition that another five officers are match-funded by the Met.

Local business leaders are feeling short-changed by the police, who they accuse of abusing the agreement with businesses, who say that they were led to believe that they were providing funding for extra officers.

“It’s like they are leaving us with no police officers in the Town Centre other than the ones we contracted with the police service for,” a leading Croydon businessman said.

“The Met is actually providing zero policing outside the agreement.”

This seems likely to become a key issue in the upcoming Mayoral and London Assembly elections, with the Conservatives insisting that there are no cuts to police numbers in London despite all evidence to the contrary.

  • Inside Croydon: brought to you from the heart of the borough, free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon

About insidecroydon

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
This entry was posted in Boris Johnson, Crime, Croydon 8/8, Croydon North, David Musker, East Croydon, Fairfield, Fieldway, Kenley, London-wide issues, New Addington, Policing, West Croydon, Whitgift Centre and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Town centre police team to be cut by more than half

  1. mraemiller says:

    Erm …

    …the whole concept of BID is nonsense if you think about it.

    I don’t know what BID is paying £7.5 million for, but surely it’s not just for five policemen?

    Either BID is fundamentally undemocratic or local business if being ripped off by government?

    Since the business vote in local government was abolished (except in the City of London), there’s always been an imbalance in power between those who live in the centre of cities and towns and those who work there. This is at the heart of (for example) the never ending West End parking rows… Should I really have no say in Westminster City Council’s parking restrictions simply because the Fitzroy Tavern is one metre outside their remit? Really?

    It might be easier if Boris Johnson and the GLA didn’t spend all day doing Pontius Pilate impressions every time there is a cross-authority dispute and claiming that actually they have no power over anything due to “Localism” or whatever… erm.. what’s the point in him then?

    Britain has one of the most over-complicated multi-layered systems of local government in the world. BIDs are just an added complication and no one knows their actual powers or remit, because they’re not written down and no politician tells them for fear it will restrict the volume of cash that they can wring out of what used to be the PRIVATE sector.

    If BIDs had all the power local councillors insinuate, they’d clearly be a duplicate power structure
    running in tandem to the local authority and clearly no elected councillor is going to let that happen. You really would think that big business would be cuter than this.

  2. I think it’s safe to say if the cops that have turned the town centre round over the past year, but are now stripped out, the town centre will just collapse again. The term “dead meat” definitely springs to mind.

    £7.5 million spent over 5 years through BID isn’t that scary (the Gavin Barwell blog link) when it covers extra cleaning and the like as well as extra Cops. But to abuse that agreement is, quite frankly, bloody stupid.

    I could have sworn we paid taxes to cover adequate policing. Did I miss a memo?

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