Tackling violent crime on Croydon’s streets, greater protection for young people and specialist support for victims are part of a new action plan by the Safer Croydon Partnership.
The community safety strategy 2017-2020 focuses on reducing violent offences, from gangs and hate crimes to domestic abuse and sexual violence. It also sets out prevention work with schools.
The strategy, due for approval by the council’s cabinet tonight (Monday 19 June), comprises five priorities:
- Reducing overall crime, especially violent and sexual offences
- Keeping young people safe from abuse, antisocial behaviour, bullying and gang activity
- Improving public confidence and community engagement
- Tackling antisocial behaviour and environmental offences
- Better support for victims of crime, especially hate crimes.
Prevention work includes a new advisory group to help teachers stop pupils bringing weapons into schools, specialist secondary school lesson plans for 3,000 pupils a year to learn about the dangers of getting involved in gangs, and an anti-knife campaign.
Council staff and NHS workers will also receive awareness training about gangs and how to spot early signs of domestic violence or sexual abuse, while schools will be encouraged to update their safeguarding policies to include domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Ongoing police and council work will involve extra visible patrols at known hotspots, intelligence-led police use of stop and search powers, as well as more engagement with young people in Croydon town centre at risk of being involved in crime and antisocial behaviour.
The support element of the plans include an advisory service run by Victim Support for up to 800 young victims of crime, specialist help for victims during the prosecution process, and referrals for gang members into employment, education or training.
Other proposals include developing a schools programme about personal safety, encouraging residents to set up more Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and getting more residents to become community champions as part of the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign.
“Violent crime is rising and this plan shows the council’s commitment to work hard with partners to tackle crime in the borough and keep people safe.
“The strategy sets out how we are working with partners, and the community to make Croydon a safer place for everyone.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice