What Labour has done wrong
Under Labour Croydon has suffered a tidal wave of crime. Since Labour took control of the town hall in 2014:
- Overall Crime is up 28%
- Violence against the person up 72%
- Public Order Offences (Anti-Social Behaviour) up 100%
This is not just about statistics, tragically five young people were stabbed to death on Croydon's streets in 2021. My heart goes out to every family member or friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Labour has also slashed funding to the grassroots community organisation that provides services to some of our most vulnerable residents in Croydon by £1m.
What would we do differently
As Mayor I would partner with the Police to provide the necessary equipment, be it mobile knife arches or wands, to get dangerous weapons off our streets. I will work with the community to break the school exclusion pipeline and progress towards the goal of providing a mentor for every young person who is permanently excluded from school, to prevent them getting involved with gangs and criminal activity.
The Council has all the data showing where crime is happening in Croydon. We also know the key drivers that lead to young people getting involved with Crime and Serious Youth Violence:
- Knives being carried by young people
- Young people not in full time education
- Lack of positive adult role model
- Lack of good quality youth provision
- Poor mental health and substance abuse
As Mayor my strategy would be:
- I would partner with the Police to provide mobile knife arches and wands to be deployed by them, to get dangerous weapons off our streets.
- I would work towards the goal of having a mentor for every young person who is permanently excluded from school or under the long-term care of the Council to advocate and prevent them from getting involved with gangs, sexual or criminal exploitation.
- I recently visited the Legacy Youth Zone and was inspired by their amazing facilities. I would work with Legacy, other providers and local businesses to see how we can expand our youth offer to more young people across the Borough.
- The Croydon BME Forum have built a strong foundation for supporting mental health needs by developing wellness centres in the town centre. I will work with voluntary and faith organisations to establish self-help wellness groups across Croydon.
The key to meeting all the above goals is to develop a strong partnership between the voluntary, business and statutory sectors in Croydon. Businesses who invest in Croydon are becoming more aware of the corporate responsibility they have to the town; the voluntary sector has an excellent track record of reaching out to the most vulnerable in our community. As Mayor I will work with these sectors and organisations to support community groups that play such a vital role in our Borough.