How safe do you feel in Croydon today?
Recent tragic and traumatising events across the borough have led the council to seek the views of the public on the level of tension in Croydon and its suburbs.
This urgent check of the lie of the land comes after the death from a stab to the heart of Kye Manning on the Brighton Road in Purley, the killing of Kelly Mary Fauvrelle and her child Riley, attacks on women in South Norwood Country Park and hate mail sent to a local place of worship.
The authorities have been conducting confidence-building meetings with residents, including an event tonight hosted by councillor Hamida Ali in her Woodside ward. This new meeting follows up on the community-led initiative to reclaim South Norwood Country Park after six assaults on women there.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 6.30pm at Oasis Academy Ryelands in Oakley Road. Also attending will be local MP Sarah Jones and Chief Superintendent Colin Carswell.
The debate is conducted against a background of intolerance and a community atmosphere which remains febrile.
The meeting organisers clearly anticipate some heated discussion. This is reflected in the notice of the meeting requiring attendees to exhibit “respect for each other” and for there to be “no aggression or raised voices”.
That directive will have been a difficult judgement call, as those expected to attend will more likely be victims of crimes.
The instruction to those considering attending the meeting may have created some resentment, as residents feel that the tone is patronising and condescending. And a one-hour meeting may not be enough to dissipate local concerns either.
The council has also issued a Tension Monitoring Form to gauge the public mood. The forms need to be returned by 4pm today.
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