Croydon’s plans to set up one of the capital’s first violence reduction networks and adopt a preventative approach to crime have been hailed as ‘exemplary’ practice by London’s Deputy Mayor for policing and crime.
Sophie Linden attended Croydon’s cabinet meeting this week to hear a presentation from councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities, about the borough’s work.
Croydon has seen some recent success in reducing violent crime, with strong partnerships between the council, police and community groups playing a key role. Comparing January to December 2018 with the previous 12 months:
· serious youth violence has seen a 23.1% reduction in Croydon compared to a London drop of 6.5%
· knife crime has dropped by 18.1% compared to a 1.1% increase across London
· knife crime with injury victims aged 1-24 – Croydon has seen a -34.5% reduction compared to a 14.9% decrease across London.
The borough’s new Violence Reduction Network will build on this success, adopting what is known as a ‘public health’ approach to tackling crime.
This means local agencies such as the council, police, health services, and voluntary and community groups, working together to tackle the root causes of crime, addressing issues such as poverty, education, health and housing.
Councillor Ali’s update to cabinet on Monday (21 Jan) followed a local meeting which saw representatives from across the council, police, health and voluntary groups come together to develop the new network.
Ms Linden praised Croydon’s work and said the Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking to replicate the borough’s progress London-wide.
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor of London for policing and crime, said: “We know that the causes of violent crime are hugely complex and are decades in the making. The Mayor is leading a public health approach to tackling all forms of violence, working tirelessly with councils, charities and communities. From City Hall we are investing in the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce, targeting violent criminals and taking weapons off the streets, alongside funding youth and preventative services.
“It’s great to see this good work taking place in Croydon, where they are leading the way with the creation of their Violence Reduction Network. It is through this kind of preventative approach, combined with strong enforcement, that we will achieve long-term, sustained violence reduction.”
“Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon & communities, said: “It is very positive to have the Deputy Mayor’s support for our plans, as we work together with communities to develop a public health approach to prevent violent crime.
“We have looked at what we know about the lives of those affected by crime, as both victims and perpetrators, and at how we could support people earlier to prevent violence. The Violence Reduction Network will build on our existing strengths – particularly the strong partnership that already exists between the council, the police and communities – which has already seen some success in reducing violent crime.
“We are focusing on developing our approach further and look forward to working with the Mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit and to sharing best practice with colleagues across London.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities