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 email@example.com.
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.
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon is the borough’s only independent news source, and still based in the heart of Croydon
- 1 MILLION PAGE VIEWS IN 2017 (January to September)
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org
The former Borough Commander said the same thing 5 years ago. Why don’t you blame the Tories for the police cuts.
Enough is enough, just do something about it.
I think the point being made is that it’s not the Tories stabbing people, and that you need to look a little closer to home.
Does anyone know what this statistical sound bite means? :
“Croydon police utilise stop and search as an effective tool – 21 per cent of all searches are weapon-related.”
I am personally very anti- stop and search, as I feel it alienates sections of the community more than anything else.
I’m not sure if the above comment is trying to give the impression that 1 in 5 of all people searched were carrying weapons, thereby trying to add some credence to the method?
Or perhaps 1 in 5 of those found guilty of an offence as a result of stop and search?
Genuinely interested in knowing. Help please!
It is far too easy to blame youth crime on the government for cutting funding to police!
We need to blame them too, for cutting funding to local authorities, which has reduced the youth and sports services of most councils to a shadow of what they were, even 10 years ago.
Sports outreach to local parks and estates with ball courts , where the local authority employs young men and women to coach the local teenagers in footie and basketball, is a truly great thing, bringing team involvement of the right kind in place of gangs, into the middle of where people live.
White and black young men and women — the sports coaches — set a role model, showing the young people of all ethnic backgrounds that there in sport there is a fun / serious alternative to hanging out and possibly getting involved in bad things. Where people see the presence of the council in this way, it gives evidence to young and old that there is such a thing as society. Now who said that there wasn’t ?
There are still a few youth centres doing valiant and important work to give the young people things to do, including art, crafts, music and and a place of social interaction in a safe environment outside the home. How many local authority youth centres have gone in the last 20 years? Most, I would guess.
I think that in the UK we treat young people badly, compared with places like Spain and Holland, where society gives them interesting activities and engagement . Here, all we do is make them work work work at school, or, when they are a bit older, they can go to Uni, go to work, or go drinking. We should be teaching kids to sing, play musical instruments, learn about animal welfare, love nature, helping, make things, build and decorate, go fishing, walking and cycling. Knives were once things every boy and man had, pen knives, to do things like carve sticks, or remove tobacco from a pipe, not things to frighten people, “defend” one’s self, nor wound others.
Of course, most youth crime exists because of a moral and societal vacuum, mainly caused by poor parenting, absentee dads, multiple-partner mums, and brainless soap opera / celeb role models,”values” and excitements applied to real life. Poverty of a spiritual and moral nature plus poverty of an income nature doesn’t give youngsters a good start. Amazing that in spite of this, most young people are decent people.
And talking of start, the Sure Start centres set up under Labour, which gave key skills and vital parenting support to young mums and dads, have mainly been starved to death by subsequent governments cutting away huge amounts of local authority grant funding. How short-sighted that really is. Penny wise, pound foolish ? I think so.
Good on the Commander for his words.
But, in a busy world, most people are very busy, trying to earn a living, and many are also raising their own family or grand-parenting, or caring for family members.
Good also, on all those churches and community organisations who do work with young people.
But surely, the local authority has a vital role in youth work. That means us, and our money, invested in it. The cost of youth disengagement — of angry young people, and the lasting effect on their victims, is far higher than the cost of providing engagement and getting young people living fulfilled lives.