Croydon records highest number of violent offences

Croydon Police Station Pic: Selin Oztuncman

Croydon saw the highest number of violent offences since the start of 2023 amongst all Greater London boroughs, according to recent Met Police data.

Data published on March 9 shows 921 offences classified as violence against a person, which includes assault, wounding and harassment, were recorded in Croydon in February.

The borough remained at the top in January as well with, again, 921 violent offences.

Tower Hamlets recorded the third-highest number of violent offences, with 847 offences in February and 849 in January.

Lewisham ranked 10th with 721 violent offences for January and February. Hackney recorded the lowest number of violent offences among all ELL boroughs and ranked 12th place with 658 in February and 659 in January.

Croydon was chosen the “knife crime capital” of London in 2021 with five teenagers being stabbed to death over the course of a year. 

The borough’s online reputation hasn’t been the best, as many videos from Croydon containing violent content often surface on social media.

On March 1, a video of a brawl between school children surfaced online, resulting in the police enforcing a temporary special order to disperse groups of two or more. 

Another incident of violence that drew online attention was a group of men swinging knives in front of a store in Central Croydon.

Following the tragic death of the five teenagers in 2021, both government and the community put forward initiatives to tackle violence on the streets.

Community-led initiative My Ends was formed as the joint work of many local charities, working towards early prevention towards youth street violence.

Chaired by Anthony King, a community influencer, the initiative received a large amount of funding from Sadiq Khan as part of an investment into community groups fighting against violence.

The police also played part in tackling street violence by launching Operation Cleveland in 2021 with an open letter from Superintendent Andy Brittain.

In his letter, Brittain announced the operation and the implementation of stricter measures such as greater police presence and increased Stop & Search.

A week after the operation’s start, Croydon Police announced 174 weapon sweeps and 28 arrests for drug and violent offences.

The operation still continues, as a “knife arch” was recently installed at a local McDonald’s to prevent knife crime.

However, the “knife arch” was found to be in place for only a matter of days.

Violence against person offences have been on the decline by 1.5 per cent in 2022, according to Met Police.

ELL contacted Met Police for further comment but was told: “There’s nothing further for us to add at this time.”

There also haven’t been any teen deaths due to knife crime in the past year.

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