The police are making significant in roads in the drug trade as part of the war on knife crime.
At the Broad Green – West Croydon end of London Road over 140 drug dealers predominantly targeting school children were lifted off the streets in to white vans and arrested. The operation involving 50 plain clothed officers was possible because of £34,000 funding from the London Mayor’s office.
Police revealed that 10 knives had also been seized as part of the successful operation. Croydon’s Safer Neighbourhood Board also heard how shopkeeper’s had welcomed the intervention ‘shaking officers hands’ in thanks.
Weapons, drugs and money (pictured) were also seized by officers from the Gangs Unit during a raid in Woodville Road. Soon after police seized another deadly weapon – a knife – possessed by a teenager on Green Lane.
In August 2017 Jermaine Goupall 15, was killed in nearby in Georgia Road as he fled a group wearing balaclavas and armed with knives and a machete who wrongly believed he was a rival gang member.
The Borough Commander Dave Stringer said that an element of drugs is driving serious violence when he spoke at a community meeting in Thornton Heath to discuss knife crime, where Jermaine’s sister Tilisha called for community police to be more present. The meeting saw an open and frank discussion between the community, police and council sharing concerns and solutions to knife and violent crime with a follow up meeting now being planned in June.
•Blue and purple ribbons have begun appearing around the area in memory of Kelva Smith and Andre Aderemi who lost their lives to knife crime. The murdered boys mums have joined forces as part of a campaign to demand action to stop so many young people being stabbed to death.
•Music Relief, a charitable youth organisation also commissioned research into knife-crime in Croydon, which culminated in the publication of a booklet launched for activists and policymakers.
You can anonymously report knife carriers to Crime Stoppers on 0800555111.