Met Police figures show muggings in Croydon up by 12%

Police crime genericNot for the first time, Croydon risks becoming known as the muggings capital of south London, as “robberies against the person” have soared by almost 12 per cent over a 12-month period, when the rate of similar crimes in neighbouring boroughs was being reduced.

Figures published by the Metropolitan Police show that street robberies in Croydon have risen to 1,840 in the 12 months to August 2013. Across London, robberies of the person have fallen by 13 per cent and continued to fall in neighbouring Lewisham, Bromley, Southwark, Sutton, Merton and Lambeth.

Croydon North’s Labour MP, Steve Reed OBE, condemned the increase in street crime. He has written to the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to express his concerns.

Reed said: “Only months after London Mayor Boris Johnson put all of Croydon North’s police stations up for sale and left the borough with fewer police officers on the beat than immediately after the riots, our local communities will be horrified that muggings have increased.

“Today, I have written to Mayor Johnson, asking him to get a grip of this issue. With the riots still fresh in many people’s minds, it is time for the Mayor to keep Croydon safe and to reverse his cuts in the police on the streets.”

Only in Croydon has the rate of muggings in south London increased in 2012-2013

Only in Croydon among south London boroughs has the rate of muggings increased in 2012-2013

In March, when the last batch of Met crime statistics were released, muggings in Croydon were rising at a rate of 18 per cent per year, and meaning that Croydon has the highest number of street robberies of any borough in outer London, with nearly 450 people a week being victims of street robbery in Croydon.

The decline in the rate of increase, from 18 per cent in March to 12 per cent by August, may be attributable to special police operations in Croydon town centre during the summer months.

There is disagreement between the political parties over the actual number of police officers on duty in Croydon, with the Conservatives claiming that there has been an increase, while Labour says that there are fewer officers now on the borough’s streets than in September 2011, immediately after the London riots.

If the Conservatives’ claims about increased police numbers are correct, then the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, might have to have a word with the boys in blue in Croydon. Either that, or the Tories’ claims about police numbers in Croydon are plainly false.

Inside Croydon contacted Steve O’Connell, who is also the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton and notorious as the most overpaid local councillor in Britain (copyright the Daily Heil), to seek his views on the borough’s worrying crime figures.

But the ward councillor for Kenley – which is also having its local police station closed, something O’Connell will have known was a possibility before seeking re-election to City Hall in April 2012 – failed to respond by the time of publication.

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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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6 Responses to Met Police figures show muggings in Croydon up by 12%

  1. And there’s talk of gentrification coming to Croydon.

  2. Is there a cabinet member for community safety in Croydon with a £43,000 part-time income or is Councillor O’Connell responsible for policing?

  3. davidcallam says:

    How many Bobbies are there on the beat in Croydon? I assume the discrepancy between the politicians is the usual childish squabble about how the figures are interpreted.
    Please can we have a definitive statement from Boris or Bernard. Then we can have a meaningful discussion about safety.
    And please will you stop banging on about police stations: its coppers on the streets that count, not the number of places we have to house them.

  4. davidcallam says:

    Oh come on Terry. We drop them off at the start of their beat and we collect them at the end of it. And we keep in touch during their walkabout by radio: that’s why police officers no longer carry whistles to summon assistance, or a key to police telephone boxes.
    Driving the minibus is a job for an older or less fit copper who would otherwise have to retire – more interesting work surely than skulking in a police station.
    We must stop singing from the Police Federation hymn book. Remember, the Fed is a very poweful staff organisation: its job is to maximise the number of PC jobs available and the amount of salary paid for each. Hence its fatuous objections to PCSOs and hobby bobbies.

    • Nice try David, your thesis may just possibly hold up if the seas are calm and the sun shines.

      At times of civil distress; riots, major accidents, terrorist attacks, industrial blockade, or even serious weather problems the Police and all emergency services must have the most robust lines of communication, that being the shortest link. They must have immediate and multiple points of access to stores and equipment.

      They must have gathering points for information, feedback and control, first aid and rest. Roads may be blocked, vehicles may be sabotaged. Emergency services must be as failsafe as is possible and prepared always for contingency.

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