Croydon’s police are “enduring a challenging period”, and face a busy weekend with officers being deployed in central London for tomorrow’s Black Lives Matter demonstration, as well as two similar events planned in the borough itself.
That’s according to a message to the public from Inspector Steve Warnes of the Metropolitan Police.
During the covid-19 lockdown, the police have faced a different set of demands on their time and manpower, though they continue to face many “conventional” crimes and challenges to their task of keeping the peace.
That included seizing a large machete from a man on London Road, Broad Green, this week. “The suspect has been charged with the offence and will appear at court,” Inspector Warnes said in his social media message.
A spate of thefts of catalytic converters has required special attention from the police, in the form of Operation Basswood.
“Currently the south of the borough, particularly Purley and across into Wallington, seems to be the main target area but we have seen offences also in Selhurst,” Inspector Warnes said.
Warnes asks for anyone with information on catalytic converter crime to email email@example.com.
Inspector Warnes says that he has been “amazed and appalled” at a new form of car theft, in which Ford Fiestas and Focus cars, but also BMWs, are being stolen from outside people’s homes without any keys.
“These are all new style cars with keyless entry and ignition,” he said.
“Essentially the signal is boosted from the keys inside the house to the car outside, with a separate device. I was amazed and appalled at the same time as it was a very quick process.
“If you have one of these cars, please do not keep your keys near the front door.
“I would suggest purchasing a Faraday pouch, but if not then place them in a drawer or a metal tin. These vehicles are being stolen to facilitate further crime, most usually catalytic converter theft, vehicle crime, metal thefts or burglaries.”
Sheds across the borough are also being broken into, often in search of tools or machinery.
And now, Inspector Warnes and his colleagues face a long weekend on duties involving crowd control.
“We are currently enduring a challenging period and many of your local Croydon officers have been drafted into central London to deal with the BLM protests. There are further protests and demonstrations planned across the capital this weekend, with two locally in Croydon.”
According to the inspector, 62 officers were injured during the demonstrations in the capital last weekend. “My colleagues will continue, as always, to maintain the peace and protect the public,” he said.
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