Croydon North ‘crippled’ by 35% rise in violent crime and drop in police officers, claims Labour candidate

The sharp rise in Croydon’s violent crime figures was condemned for ‘crippling’ the area by Steve Reed, Labour and Co-operative candidate for Croydon North.

Mr Reed’s comments come after the court case last week of three Croydon teenagers accused of raping vulnerable girls.

The media furore has put the borough in the spotlight for violent crime as Metropolitan Police figures reveal that reported cases of rape have risen by 25.1% in the last year.

Violent against a person has also increased by more than a third and racist and religious hate crime has increased by 26%.

“Croydon North has been badly let down by the Tories on crime,” said Mr Reed. “While the Government likes to claim that crime is down, in Croydon crimes like violent assault, domestic violence and rape are all up.”

The government’s decision to close every police station in Croydon North and cut police numbers is also a concern for Mr Reed.

The Conservative candidate for Croydon North, Vidhi Mohan, agreed that more police on the streets would help but denied that the closure of police stations was the problem.

“Crime is not a problem that we can keep throwing money at – there are other solutions.”

“You don’t count the effectiveness of the police by the number of buildings they have,” he said.

“Crime is not a problem that we can keep throwing money at – there are other solutions to the problem.

“We need to crack down on antisocial behaviour, but we need to balance that with the community’s confidence in the police.

“Having a heavy-handed police approach doesn’t work, such as in the case of stop and search.”

Liberal Democrat candidate, Joanna Corbin, said the Croydon’s crime statistics were ‘very worrying’ and said her party would also invest in more frontline police. She added that rehabilitation of criminals would also be a priority.

“We want prisons to be places of work, rehabilitation and learning, so that offenders get the skills they need to turn their lives around,” said Ms Corbin.

Concerns about crime and deprivation seem to be a shared issue among all the party candidates.

UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie even went as far as to describe Croydon as ‘a dump’ during last year’s local election campaign.

Picture courtesy of Chris JL, with thanks

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