It all came to a head last week when two 13-year-old boys were stabbed on Church Street in the late afternoon.
At around 5:30 pm on Monday (March 21), the teenagers were taken to the hospital after a major brawl broke out on the road.
It was just an hour after an 18-year-old boy was stabbed on Elmwood Road less than two miles away.
church street clerk told the Local Democracy Reporting Office that there were regular fights in areas where young people gathered after school.
They claim the situation has worsened over the past year with large groups of young people gathering in the area after school.
Kamran Iqbal, who runs a shop in the street, said he had seen other violent attacks in recent months.
The 38-year-old said: They enter the store and try to steal e-cigarettes.
“I have filed a complaint with the police. I don’t think this street is safe. How can a school child keep a knife in his pocket?
“Last year has been terrible, but there is no hope that anyone will do anything.
“I think we should have police all over the road after school every day, or we will never stop crime.”
Another 31-year-old Fahid Azam street clerk said customers were scared after hearing the commotion when a fight broke out on Church Street.
“When the police are here, everyone feels safe and there are no fights or anything.
“We worry about our business because our customers are still scared. No one is coming between 3-5pm when the school kids are here.”
Vlad Chireta, a 26-year-old restaurant worker, said similar incidents happened “always”.
He added: “In my opinion the police could have done more and had more presence on the streets.
Youth worker Anthony King said the surge in knife crime was “devastating” as conditions began to improve since Croydon recorded the highest number of youth murders in London in 2021.
He said no teenagers were killed in Croydon last year because grassroots organizations are working more closely with police and city council.
Mr King said:
“Young kids are looking for things to do. There are cheap chicken and chip shops and a base to socialize with friends.
“Church Street has been in the spotlight for a long time. We knew something could happen one day.”
King, who chairs the My Ends project that brings the community together every Friday, is concerned that Croydon’s children are becoming desensitized to knife crime.
He believes there should be more for young people to do locally.
Two days after the stabbing, an emergency meeting was held bringing together young workers, the principal, the council and the police.
It was then decided to create a youth space in the Centrale Shopping Center, giving the youngsters who were hanging out on Church Street somewhere to go.
Mr King added:
“When you’re talking about a 13- or 14-year-old individual who is involved in a stabbing, it has a huge impact on friends and family. Some of them are very traumatized.”
After the stabbing, Superintendent Mitch Carr of the South Area Command Unit said:
“Of course, we share that concern and are doing everything we can to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“We do not and will not tolerate street violence. Anyone is encouraged to report it immediately.”
Saputo Karr said the incidents at Elmwood Road and Church Street were not believed to be related.
Two boys aged 13 and 14 were arrested. The first is an allegation of assault weapon possession and feud, the second is an allegation of misconduct related to a stabbing on Church Street, and the second is two 18-year-olds on Elmwood Road. was arrested on suspicion of serious bodily harm in connection with .
Croydon City Council Chief Executive Jason Perry said:
“The council works with local schools, community organizations and youth groups to support young people through a range of activities and instruction in town centres.
“This is part of the council’s ongoing work to combat violence and keep young people safe on the streets.”
https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/23420805.croydon-shopkeeper-doesnt-feel-safe-area-got-horrible/?ref=rss Croydon shopkeepers don’t feel safe as area ‘worst’