The more suburban parts of Croydon are generally safe places for most residents, although residents’ perception of the level of crime is generally higher than the reality.
In other parts of Croydon the threat to some groups is very real: knife crime and youth violence, coupled with the presence of a number of gangs, is a very real problem in the more urban areas of the town.
Across London police numbers are about the same as they were under Boris: his policies managed to reduce crime with that size of force, so it is odd that Mayor Khan does not want to face up to his responsibility to reduce crime with that sort of resource.
Despite raking in millions of pounds with its Landlord Licensing Scheme, the council has prosecuted just one landlord for operating sub-standard premises
Croydon’s social services failed its Ofsted inspection last year and is letting down vulnerable families.
Labour has imposed 20mph limits on all residential streets without a yes/no referendum in most of the borough, in spite of mounting evidence from other councils that such blanket schemes are ineffective. This scheme cost £1.5M – that’s £1.5M that wasn’t spent on ‘real’ traffic calming measures that actually do reduce speeding.
Whilst community based youth services have had almost all their council support withdrawn, all the money has been diverted to a single ‘centre of excellence’ in the north of the borough. We are concerned that gang territoriality will limit the ability of this centre to draw people from other than its immediate area.
Keeping us all safe
Dealing with crime is the responsibility of the Police, but the Council has a role in helping them deal with lower level crime and anti-social behaviour. The Council does have a major role in other safety-related activities: licensing, road safety, fire safety, landlord and tenant issues, social services, domestic violence and the like. We’ll take our responsibilities seriously by:
Creating a Knife Crime Commission to evaluate best practice from around the world in combatting urban knife crime. As well as local agencies and charities, it will include experts from places with proven results in this area, such as Glasgow: between 2006 and 2011, 15 children and teenagers were killed with knives in Scotland’s largest city; between April 2011 and April 2016, none were. We need to learn from this.
Spending future years’ road safety budgets on physical measures to reduce speed in targeted areas of highest risk, rather than on signs everywhere.
Increasing funding for community-based youth activity and mentoring.
Creating a small grants pot to allow voluntary groups doing good work in the community to receive funding assistance.
Pushing the police towards a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to anti-social behaviour and low level crime.
Late last year our Norbury team co-ordinated a meeting between the Borough Commander’s top team and local residents to help fight local crime and anti-social behaviour. We will do everything we can in administration to bring the police and communities together to ensure that the police are fully aware of community sensitivities and that residents understand what the police is doing to protect them.