The Metropolitan Police have today claimed that there were no robberies in West Croydon for a whole month while Operation Cleveland was being conducted.
The operation, with increased officers on the streets and more stop-and-search, began on Monday, February 8, and followed a weekend of violence in which there were 10 stabbings in the area, including a murder in Selhurst.
The police say that during Operation Cleveland, they arrested 171 individuals and recovered 43 weapons. The arrests were mainly for drug or weapon-related offences and “led to an overall crime reduction – and zero robberies in West Croydon”, the police said. Typically, at least five robberies are reported every week in West Croydon.
As well as locally-based officers, Operation Cleveland saw the Met’s Violence Suppression Unit was deployed, as well as specially-trained sniffer dog units to help with drug searches, and even the Metropolitan Police’s Mounted Branch took part in the extensive operation.
“Over the last month we have been highly visible in the community and carried out many arrests and daily weapon and drug sweeps,” said acting eergeant Russell Easterbrook, who led the operation.
“Typically there are up to five robberies a week but thanks to our visibility and activity, there were none in West Croydon during the month. Local residents, businesses and community leaders have been really supportive in helping us to tackle crime in the area.
“We were based at the CVA Centre on London Road and received many tip-offs and intelligence reports leading to positive weapon sweeps and arrests.
“For example, officers were left a handwritten note with detailed information as to where to find a cannabis hiding spot used by the local drug dealers. This led to officers finding a large amount of cannabis.
“The community have absolutely loved seeing police horses and dogs in West Croydon, and the dogs in particular helped us to find hidden knives and to take drugs off the streets of London.
“The operation helped us to engage with the community and local businesses, and we’ve had some great feedback in how such activities are bearing down on crime and making West Croydon a safer place for all.”
Superintendent Andy Brittain said: “This has been a great effort by the community and police officers and has led to some fantastic results.
“We are now working on the information we received to tackle crime in the area and will continue to keep a visible policing presence in West Croydon.”
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