Not 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.”
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.
- It’s a fair cop: we need more police officers on our streets
- Steve Reed MP: “I’m taking police cuts issue to the very top”
- The riots, an assertion of power and our self-serving council
Coming to Croydon
- Arena academy public meeting: Oct 16
- Crystal Palace Concerts – “I have a dream”: Oct 17
- The Firebird, family concert: Oct 20
- Lakes Playground group’s fundraising Zumba-ween: Oct 26
- PJ’s enterprising look at Black History Month: Oct 29
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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