Croydon police have today launched Operation Cleveland, with an increased presence of officers on the streets around West Croydon “carrying out high visibility foot patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour”.
The move comes after the outbreak of knife attacks in and around Croydon over the weekend, including the death of a young man in Selhurst on Friday night which is now the subject of a murder investigation.
The dead man was identified on social media on Saturday as Lavz, with a photograph of the victim released this morning.
Today, Borough Commander Superintendent Andy Brittain said that Operation Cleveland had been planned ahead of the weekend’s violence.
“Croydon remains a safe borough,” Supt Brittain said in a message to the public.
Croydon’s top cop also pleaded with the public to continue to observe the social distancing rules during the coronavirus lockdown.
“My officers are still being called to breaches of covid regulations,” Brittain wrote.
“Please continue to support the NHS and comply with the requirements of this lockdown. House parties and unlicensed music events remain a concern, so please do everything you can to prevent these from taking place and discourage family and friends from attending these events.”
Addressing the spate of knife attacks over the past 72 hours, Supt Brittain maintained that the police were treating the incidents as unconnected.
He wrote, “After a long period of reductions in knife crime, we sadly had eight victims of knife crime over the weekend. One young person tragically lost his life and our thoughts remain with his family.
“We believe these to be isolated incidents but the investigations into the events continue, and arrests have been made.
“Today we launch Operation Cleveland which, whilst planned prior to the events of the weekend, will focus on the West Croydon area. Over the next two weeks, you will see an increased police presence in the area. Officers will be carrying out high visibility foot patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Where required, these officers will use Stop and Search powers in order to take knives and drugs off the street.
“If you see the officers, please take a minute to stop and say hello. We always appreciate hearing your support, ideas and encouragement.”
Brittain has been in his current post for a year. “I remain extremely proud to be part of this community. Croydon remains a safe borough, and we have some really strong partnerships and community friendships.
“We continue to be committed to tackling violence on the streets of Croydon, and together we can make a difference.”
- Anyone with information that can assist the police investigation are asked to contact 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD7236/5Feb. You can also leave information anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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