Dear Croydon Resident,
I wanted to write to you to discuss the tragic events of the last 2 hours. After a long period of reductions in knife crime, we sadly had 8 victims of knife crime over the weekend. One young person tragically lost his life and our thoughts remain with his family. We believe these to be isolated incidents but the investigations into the events continue, and arrests have been made.
I want to take a moment to thank all the community members that came forward with advice and support. I would particularly like to thank the following individuals who at short notice took time out of their busy schedules to help shape the police and community response:
Antony King (PJS), Shakeel Cocker (Independent Advisory Group), Sarah Jones MP, Steve Reed MP, Cllr Hamida Ali, Cllr David Wood, and Sarah Hayward (Borough of Croydon). I would also like to especially thank Donna Murray-Turner (Ward Panel Chair). She spent the evening with me at Croydon Police Station welcoming officers from across London who helped to police Croydon on Saturday Night.
Today we launch Operation Cleveland which, whilst planned prior to the events of the weekend, will focus on the West Croydon area. Over the next two weeks, you will see an increased police presence in the area. Officers will be carrying out high visibility foot patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Where required, these officers will use Stop & Search powers in order to take knives and drugs off the street. If you see the officers, please take a minute to stop and say hello. We always appreciate hearing your support, ideas and encouragement.
Finally, I would like to talk about COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, we had lost many friends within the Croydon community. Now that the vaccine is here. I feel positive for the future, and I will certainly queue up to receive my vaccine at the appropriate time. Whilst an end may be in sight we are not there yet – we remain in Tier 5 and our hospitals remain under great pressure. My officers are still being called to breaches of COVID regulations. Please continue to support the NHS and comply with the requirements of this lockdown. House parties and Unlicensed Music Events remain a concern, so please do everything you can do to prevent these from taking place and discourage family and friends from attending these events.
I have now been in post for a year and I remain extremely proud to be part of this community. Croydon remains a safe borough, and we have some really strong partnerships and community friendships. We continue to be committed to tackling violence on the streets of Croydon, and together we can make a difference.
My thanks for your support over the last 12 months.