The council has announced that it has secured £165,000 through the government’s Safer Streets Fund to tackle crime in the town centre.
The grant comes from the Home Office where, at least until this morning, Tory MP for Croydon South, Chris Philp worked as a junior minister for policing.
Earlier this year, Croydon Mayor Jason Perry axed 22 Neighbourhood Safety Officers.
The funding announcement came in the week that the Metropolitan Police confirmed that it is investigating the 10th murder in the borough of Croydon in 2023.
The council said that “the funding will be used for projects aimed to reduce personal robberies, knife crime and violence in the town centre with a focus on intervention for girls”. The council’s announcement was made just before Saturday’s funeral of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who was killed on Wellesley Road in September when on her way to school.
The council said that the funding “will be used in several ways to increase safety in the town centre”.
They said: “The council will continue to work with our community partners to deliver outreach sessions that will intervene with young people who are most vulnerable to offending and criminal exploitation.
“There will also be a focus on delivering specific female outreach in the town centre. The aim is to work with women and girls at risk of entering the criminal justice system by engaging and steering young women away from crime. The extra funding will also deliver group sessions and one-to-one sessions with young women and will also focus on personal safety.”
Given the gravity of the situation with knife crime on Croydon’s streets, there is an increasing number of people, including councillors, questioning whether continuing to pursue a similar course of action is the right thing to do.
In 2018, MOPAC, the Mayor of London’s office for policing and crime, gave £750,000 to fund the MyEnds scheme in Croydon, providing funding for weekly meetings and the occasional football match between the Met and local youngsters.
The council’s press release also suggests that some of this latest round of public funding will be handed over to business organisation, Croydon BID, to pay towards the costs of the private security firm they have patrolling a limited area around the town centre.
“The council has worked with Croydon Met Police, BID Rangers and outreach organisations to tackle antisocial behaviour,” the council said.
They also claimed that through these agencies they have helped “vulnerable people get the support they need”.
And they repeated the false claim that the Public Spaces Protection Order – or PSPO – which was reintroduced in May, somehow gives “the police extra powers to tackle antisocial behaviour”. Under law, the police already have widespread powers of arrest, covering all kinds of offences, even petty instances of antisocial behaviour.
The PSPO, in fact, permits the council to have officials roaming the streets and handing out £60 fines for litter-dropping.
According to the council press release, the latest small tranche of funding will only last through to March 2025.
“This funding from the Home Office is an important step towards making our town centre spaces more welcoming and to tackle violence against women and girls,” claimed Jason Perry, Croydon’s Mayor.
“Residents, businesses and visitors to our town centre need to feel safe and the extra resources from this funding will help to tackle street crime and restore pride in our borough,” said Perry.
Part-time Perry, Croydon’s Mayor, is on the board of directors of Croydon BID.
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