Serious concerns after latest spate of youth knife crimes

A fight involving a large group of young teens outside a burger restaurant and two other violent incidents have prompted the Metropolitan Police to order special measures for the town centre

Crime scene: police cordoned off Church Street yesterday following the mass fight which saw two 13-year-olds hospitalised

A teenager was in hospital fighting for his life this morning following the latest spate of stabbings in and around Croydon, while there were also reports of shots being fired, and the town centre was placed under a special police restrictions order.

It was just after 5pm on Monday when police were called to a fight involving a large group of youths outside McDonald’s on Church Street.

Two boys, both aged 13, were found with stab injuries. “Their injuries were assessed as not life-threatening,” a statement by the Met Police said. The boys did, however, remain in hospital overnight.

Two boys, aged 13 and 14, were arrested, the first on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and affray, and the second on suspicion of affray.

An hour earlier, just after 4pm, there had been a separate incident at Elmwood Road which saw emergency services called. An 18-year-old man was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Two other men, both 18, were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and remain in custody.

There had already been another town centre stabbing, in broad daylight, outside Nando’s on the High Street on Saturday afternoon.

Last night, the police issued a Section 60 order in Croydon town centre until 6am this morning, allowing officers to stop and search without suspicion, in response to what they described as “shocking violent incidents”.

Then, at 9.51pm, emergency services were called to Cudham Drive, New Addington, following reports that a group of people armed with weapons were damaging a car. Further calls were made with reports that a man had been stabbed and shots fired.

On arrival a man was found with a minor cut to his hand. Officers found no evidence of a firearms discharge. No arrests have been made in relation to the incident, the police say.

Concerned: Supt Mitch Carr

Superintendent Mitch Carr said: “Croydon residents will rightly be concerned at this spate of unacceptable and shocking violent incidents. We of course share that concern and are doing everything we can to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators.

“A number of people remain in police custody. At this stage in our enquires there is no information to suggest any link between them. They are all being treated as isolated incidents.

“We do not and will not tolerate violence on our streets.

“Local people can expect to see an enhanced policing presence across the borough, and anyone who has information that could assist us with these investigations is encouraged to report it immediately.”

  • Anyone with information can call 101 or tweet@MetCC with the refence CAD 4785/20MAR (Elmwood), CAD 5376/20 Mar (Church Street) or CAD 7521/20 Mar (Cudham Drive)

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4 Responses to Serious concerns after latest spate of youth knife crimes

  1. If Croydon town centre’s McDonald’s were pubs or clubs, they’d be shut down permanently for the trouble they attract and cause.

    Section 76 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 gives the police or the council the power to close premises for up to 48 hours to prevent nuisance or disorder from recurring there. When 13-year-old kids get stabbed, that’s a bit more than a nuisance or disorder.

    McDonald’s have at the very least a legal duty of care to their staff, and until they take the safety of their employees and customers seriously, their doors should be firmly shut.

    • 2deal2 says:

      All of Croydon’s major fast food chains, betting shops and pawnbrokers should be forced to have police inside and/or private security plus be charged a premium tax for operating these places. They attract violence from young people, alcoholics and drug addicts and people on low-incomes gambling.

      • Ian Kierans says:

        McDonalds and the four gambling joints already have security in the evenings and pay a high business rate. Not too sure about the chain betting shops. Quite a lot of youngsters have been housed in premises around there, but there are no facilities for them so they hang about doing and selling shots in the pedestrianised area past the post office and down in Church street. The alcoholics rarely get into knifing each other but have been known to hit an innocent walker by with a fist aimed at another drunk.

        You might want to consider that a lot of the fights are down to who gets the best and prime begging spots or drug selling corner or just members of different gangs colliding.
        And then there is the simple age old bullying of younger people into doing stuff they do not want to get caught doing themselves.

        Restricting Gambling joints is always worthwhile as they cause misery for those desperate to get out the mire – they provide no social benefit and the business model they exist on is reliant on repeat losing by repeat customers. Machines are set to provide that scenario. Perhaps no more than two per borough?

  2. Ian Kierans says:

    Arfur makes a point about McDonalds, but they do have security officers as does Marks and Spencers, many places do not, nor can they afford them. Also the BID rangers are about – somewhere.

    Still a Section 76 requires –
    – that the use of particular premises has resulted, or is likely to result, in nuisance to members of the public,
    – that there has been, or is likely soon to be, disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises,and that the notice is necessary to prevent the nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring.

    Fundamentally it would be difficult to show McDonalds was instrumental in causing a knife attack in the street outside. If it was outside the Minster during service would the services be suspended? If it was known someone would be stabbed that again would be a direct police matter for prevention.

    But – A pub holding a party and failing to control it, allowing drug use or many customers becoming stupidly drunk and allowing that to spill onto a residental street sofighting breaks out – that is more of a section 76 issue.

    Irrespective, without resource, effective process, and public support there is not a lot the Met can do. When a Council is in freefall also, all the failures of that body then escalate from civil issues into criminal actions with a greater call on resources.

    This may get worse the more cuts are made. Many of the problems stem from lack of Housing, parental support, over development, failures of civil enforcement, the list goes on .
    Underpinning this is a total lack of public confidence in the bodies tasked with providing support those tasked with dealing with civil and criminal behaviour.

    This is not an officer issue or poor performance – quite the opposite enforcement personnel are in many areas overworked overdelivering and totally exhausted. This is quite simply a total lack of resource in an area of heightened demand.

    Policing in Croydon should be afforded more resource by the Met and supported by the Home Office Minister and preventative actions begun immediately.

    Civil enforcement should be ramped up and prioritised by McArdle and supported with ring fenced funding by Mr Gove.

    Both bodies should be closely working together and with the Community in these high crime areas.
    You also have to address the facts that kids are in the town centre at that time and ask why?
    Well we know many of those reasons – no library, no after school, no youth clubs no social or learning areas, no safe playgrounds no police patrols in outer areas. Remember all those cuts? Remember all those charities no longer being funded?

    But no matter what went on or who was to blame – no 18 year old should be in hospital fighting for his life and no 13/14 year olds should be experiencing being stabbed even if not seriously injured. It is really time everyone in Croydon sought ways to address this together.
    Time for the community to start real dialogue with Superintendant Carr and Mr McArdle and vice versa all focusing on positive solutions.

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