Croydon’s police Borough Commander, Jeff Boothe, has called on the borough’s residents to say “Enough is enough” on knife crime.
Chief Superintendent Boothe, in an exclusive interview with Inside Croydon, says that knife crime offences in the borough over the last year have stabilised, after an alarming increase in offending with dangerous weapons earlier in 2017.
“This is because of the effective use of police resources working in partnership to tackle high harm offenders and hot spot areas,” Boothe said.
“Croydon police have a clear plan to tackle knife crime on the borough using an array of tactics from increased stop and search to school patrols and engaging with responsible knife retailers.”
Croydon police are, according to Boothe, “working alongside a number of partners including the local authority to reduce the threat and impact of this issue.
“Overall offences are falling as a result but the number of incidents remains a real concern to our communities. The impact of this offence is enormous on victims and their families.
“Police will do everything we can to support victims, identify and prosecute offenders and make streets safer, but we must do this in partnership with Croydon. The issue is one that affects all of us and requires all of us to step up and say, ‘Enough is enough’.
“We need to offer choices to young people in diversions away from crime, signposting towards the many groups that work with young people in this regard and ensure that victims and witnesses are effectively supported. I also want to listen to the voices of our community and ensure we work together to reduce crime across the borough.
“I am working with the MPs, councillors and local community groups throughout Croydon and more widely with the Mayor of London, who has identified knife crime as a priority for London.”
In Croydon this year, CS Boothe says that there have been 101 knife injury victims aged 25 or younger, a 16 per cent increase on the previous year, which is around the average for the Metropolitan Police area.
“Total knife crime in this same period is also up by a smaller margin of 5.4 per cent, equating to 601 offences. The MPS average is 29.8 per cent, so Croydon are clearly making some positive impact in this area,” Boothe said.
“Croydon police utilise stop and search as an effective tool – 21 per cent of all searches are weapon-related.
“The offending over the last year has stabilised, with offending not escalating in the same way as it did earlier in the year. This is because of the effective use of police resources working in partnership to tackle high-harm offenders and hot-spot areas.
“Croydon police have a clear plan to tackle knife crime on the borough using an array of tactics, from increased stop and search, to school patrols and engaging with responsible knife retailers.”
CS Boothe is also working with Inside Croydon readers to help reduce crime and its impact on victims.
From next month, the Borough Commander will be answering selected readers’ questions about crime and policing in their area. If you have a question that you want to put to the Borough Commander, include it in an email, together with your full name and a daytime contact phone number, writing “Ask the Commander” in the subject field, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your questions have to be submitted no later than 5pm on November 14.
Unfortunately, not all questions can be answered, but those submitted to the Borough Commander will be published on this website in due course.
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