Croydon’s ‘crime capital’ to get share of Mayor’s £6m fund

London Road, which one council-appointed official described today as “Croydon’s crime capital”, is one of eight areas in the capital to receive a share of £6million-worth of new funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.

A typical Saturday on London Road, West Croydon… police tape off a stretch of the main road after the latest Croydon stabbing

The Violence Reduction Unit’s MyEnds programme has “been developed to put communities at the forefront of tackling violence by giving them the support they need to deliver locally designed interventions in areas of the capital that are affected by high and sustained levels of violence”, a statement from City Hall said.

As well as London Road, among the areas to receive funding are the Angell Town, Loughborough and Moorlands estates in Brixton, and Southwark’s North Peckham, Rockingham, Brandon and Aylesbury estates.

Each community network will receive up to £750,000 funding to April 2023, as well as ongoing support from London’s VRU.

“In some parts of London, violence is often concentrated in small areas, such as an estate, a cluster of streets, or a main road,” the statement said. “The MyEnds programme will give communities the backing they need to develop their own initiatives to bring about change in their neighbourhoods, and to provide positive opportunities for young people living in the area.

“The VRU recognises that those closest to the issues should have a central role in bringing about change needed to make neighbourhoods safer and to tackle the complex causes of crime.”

CVA’s Steve Phaure

The successful West Croydon bid includes areas which were at the centre of rioting in 2011, and where there have been additional police officers deployed for the last fortnight, following a spate of stabbings.

The bid was put forward by a consortium brought together by Croydon Voluntary Action.

In the 12 months up to the end of September 2020 there were 1,135 crimes committed in the London Road area. This is a 13 per cent increase compared to the previous 12 months, when there were 1,009 crimes. The largest proportion of offences in the area were violent crime (31 per cent) followed by drugs (19 per cent) and theft offences (16 per cent).

With MyEnds funding, Croydon Voluntary Action says it will work to reduce violence by:

  • Providing diversionary activities for young people including sports, arts and cultural activities like the London Road Carnival to engage young people from local schools
  • Delivering mentoring and careers advice at the local schools and running a volunteering scheme with the Youth Offending Service
  • Bringing grassroots partners together within a Community Hub model to advise parents on benefits, debt, evictions and help towards training and employment support services

The head of CVA, Steve Phaure, said, “This part of London Road has long been known as Croydon’s ‘crime-capital’ – but it’s also the gateway to our town centre, an exciting cultural quarter and home to a strong grassroots sector.

“MyEnds provides us with an opportunity to build on this area’s strong sense of community and – by working more creatively with our Police, NHS and council partners – not just reduce violence on London Road but really get to grips with its underlying causes.”

Sadiq Khan: investing in anti-crime measures

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “The underlying causes of crime are complex and deep-rooted, made worse by a decade of government cuts to policing, youth clubs and community services.

“I’m committed to being tough on crime by investing more in policing than any other Mayor, and tough on the causes of crime by funding hundreds of positive opportunities for young Londoners in high crime areas of the capital.

“I set up London’s Violence Reduction Unit – the first in the country – to lead a public health approach to tackling the causes, and while it’s positive that violence fell both before and during the pandemic, it’s clear there is more to do.

“The VRU is committed to tackling violence before it occurs. Investing in programmes like MyEnds is about putting communities at the forefront, supporting them and giving them the tools they need to drive down violence and make our city safer for all Londoners.”


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Broad Green, Crime, CVA, Knife crime, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Policing, Sadiq Khan, Steve Phaure, West Croydon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Croydon’s ‘crime capital’ to get share of Mayor’s £6m fund

  1. Lewis White says:

    I would be interested to know whether the people involved in violence in the London Road are actually locals or come in from some way away ?

    I have to say that-pre-lockdown– I have been an occasional but regular shopper in the grocery shops where you can buy fruit and veg not wrapped in plastic, and buy fresh Turkish bread, and tins and bottled veg, Caribbean, African and Asian products……… and have a lunchtime or evening Middle Eastern or “Indian” meal.

    I have never seen any violence, neer felt insecure, and the only law breaking I have seen is parking on bus stops and yellow lines. Once lockdown is over , I will be going back.

    It is very good to see that Croydon Voluntary Action will be engaging the community–particularly young people– in worthwhile activities and action. Just a shame that it takes violent outbreaks to get youth facilities that should be provided bporough-wide.

    The more people there are around, the normal rule is that the community give self-policing.

    Buildings that turn their face to the street–to give what planners, architects and urban designers call “an active frontage” — like the small London Road shops– help this enormously. In fact you could say that it is a key aspect of urban design, which should be known to all students of the design professions in Year 1 of theor studies. People can see out from the shops and cafes.

    I was therefore viscerally angered to see that Croydon Planners and |Councillors allowed that blank-faced building of the Harris Academy to replace the long-derelict site of the Old Croydon General Hospital . The building presents a very long, hulk of a building of frosted glass. The passer by can’t see in, so the whole thing is an “inactive frontage”. No dialogue with the street. No windows and see-through doors at ground level. No self-policing benefit to London Road.

    Why not?. This was approved and built just a few years ago. (I should add that no opportunity was made of the scope for greening the street — the landscape is an enormous paved forecourt which could have given a home for several large trees which would improve air quality in an area with poor air. A disgracefully wasted opportunity.)

    Who in the Council Planning Department recommended giving this building planning permission ?
    Did no-one think about the adverse impact on the safety and liveliness of the street of London Road ?

    This needs to be a “Lesson Learned” . And a mistake to be avoided when other areas of London Road come up for renewal, such as Zodiac House, and other areas.

    Planning can help streets be safe. But someone — Planners and Councillors – have to stand up to ego-tripping architects and charismatic decision makers who quickly move on, leaving locals to live among the wreckage.

  2. Great news – and if past cabinet councillors hadn’t squandered the Croydon’s resources we could be funding our own crime initiatives in addition to this.

    The Newman, Scott, Hall, Butler, Fraser, Fitz-Stupid financial blow-out legacy will impact this borough for years,

  3. miapawz says:

    And if Mrs May hadn’t closed all the local police stations………..

  4. Dolphin says:

    What is really going to make the difference is opportunities to earn legal money. Where are the Business, skills and trade opportunities and training. Offer the young people bursaries to get what they need. What skills, experience etc does Future Croydon need so they can prepare. Use ‘Legacy’ in Selhurst more effectively. Cooking skills, bricklaying, carpentry, tiling, glazing etc even if it is public talks on how to get into the profession, linked to bursaries for interested young people. Regular Employment fairs. What about those that come out of prison or involved in the criminal justice system how and whom helps them to break the cycle of no job, training, no money, no family support; can’t afford the basics; clothes, food, pay bill’s. Housing sometimes give the young person a run down flat that needs decorating and floor covering that costs thousands of pounds to put right. How are they going to make that money…county lines? On line training, but no computer? closure of libraries etc. If you are going to give support at least ring fence some bursary money. When last did school children get asked about their year of schooling? Through feedback is great opportunity to evaluate the service, adjust and ease the pressure. Bring back some school leavers to help the ones that struggle etc. When last was parents asked what they need to make the difference in their families lives. Some people would not understand because they are comfortable
    and they think they were born big. It is a different world now. Peoples hearts have waxed cold. It is only s/he who feels it knows it. But remember once a man twice a child. If we don’t teach them through compassion etc Lord help us when our health and strength is gone and we need compassion from them. I leave the rest to your imagination.

    • Lewis White says:

      Thank you DOLPHIN,
      for writing about what surely must be the key need for all young people–and indeed– people returning from prison at a later stage in their life–of society helping US ALL to lay a foundation for making one’s way in the World , without hurting ourselves and others. Making an honest living. “Giving” as well as “taking”. Participating.

      Some years ago, I remember seeing a no doubt well-intentioned short film / ad at the cinema, showing a rusty fishing boat tied up in run-down port. It was in fact an ad to encourage young people to train up on computer skills and get a career in a bright shiny furture world.

      It really made me feel sad– here was a state-sponsored advert, effectively consigning a whole indusry- the UK fishing industry– to the dustbin. Apart from disresepcting and devaluing this essential industry and the people in it , effectively the ad was giving young people a message that they should not get their hands dirty , and do a manual job. By the by, now, some 30 years later, is it a wonder why the average age of UK fishermen and women is around 56 ? I blame those ads from the 1980/90’s, and the slant of careers advice to young people of going to University, not industry.

      At one stage, it seemed that if you didn’t go to a University, you were valueless.

      This attitude has to a degree been counterracted by various governments, blue and red, (not sure about blue/orange) to set up Apprenticeship schemes.

      Sadly, we seem to have a cultural “looking down” on trades which may date back to pre-Victorian times of posh people looking down on “tradesmen” who made it good financially, but did not have “breeding”.

      What ever, I am sure that Dolphin is right is highlighting the link between providing opportunity to make money through legal and productive work, and the other side of the coin, making money via crime. Which is habit forming. And has consequences. Not good ones.

      We need training for real jobs–and we need skilled technicians as well as skilled builders and fishermen– it’s no good expecting a hi-tech future with electric power if we don’t have enough people who know the trades involved.

      We also need good builders and plumbers and roofers and shop workers and care workers and …. so we need to respect these professions, and raise standards–and wages.

      The other thing needed surely must be “Example”. How can young people go in the right direction unless someone shows them how to not only avoid the bad paths, but get a first toe and then a foot on to the good ones ?

      Society seems to expect School Teachers to do it all. Fathers and Mothers are the key component., but we are all, or should be allowed to be– teachers to a degree. Mighty oaks from tiny acorns can grow, but the young seedling and older sapling needs to be given air, water and space to grow straight, and thrive . It also needs to be free from damage inflicted by others.

      The early years are key– which is why it seems to me a total tragedy that the excellent “Sure Start project ” with nationwide centres, which gave local families support in the form of learning living skils, — brought in by Labour — has tragically been allowed to be cash-starved, and waste away by subsequent government.

      Sport and activities like making music must also be a way of engaging young people and getting them motivated into good directions.

      Why not, to get them physically, mentally, and socially “fit” after Covid, give them all a free membership of a local sports or actvity or music tutoring scheme for 2 years ?

      Even better, it would really help build communities if Councils were given the funds to bring organised Sports community outreach into every ball court on every park and housing estate to engage the local young people.

      I have listed some of these things in a previous Inside Croydon Post.

      Thanks DOLPHIN for your advice– Skills and Bursaries. Skills and Bursaries.
      That should be our post Covid national mantra.

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