The Chronicle is acutely aware of the number of young people who experience street crime every week in our community.

Many of these young people have told us that the community can and should do far more to make them feel safe and cared for in the place that they live.

They tell us that rather than see them as a problem the community should be mindful of the threats to our young people and take steps to create a culture that builds confidence to challenge.

To kick off an ongoing campaign to encourage all of us to come together to take responsibility for making our youngsters feel safer on our streets, parks and other public places, The Chronicle spoke to 22-year-old Kianna Briggs, from Thornton Heath.

 He said: “Many families are affected by a rising crime rate against young people in Thornton Heath, with anti- social behaviour and violent crime being consistently the most common crimes committed.
“There are many contributing factors to the crime rates, including the lack of opportunities the borough offers to young people.

“Yes, there are financial constraints but is the money given to the borough being used wisely enough?

“Between March 2016 and February 2017; the Thronton Heath ward has endured 417 violent crimes, and Bensham Manor ward 371, leaving families in heartache as they watch their young ones lives affected by what is going on in their community.”

Kianna added: “There are young lives that are affected daily, having to face the disadvantages that are placed upon them and they are left to search for their own escape. The community should start by looking at Thornton Heath to seek help from the community leaders.

“Children need to be looked at as the future and their ideas and strengths should be a focus in order for them to have a chance at being successful.

“As a community there should be encouragement from the home, school and community leaders to ensure everyone less advantaged in Croydon are given a chance.

“In order to make Croydon safe again there should be community groups that come together to draft proposals for change. The support groups are a necessity where victims, single parents and parents of offenders can receive the mental and physical help they need without feeling singled out.”

Police are still hunting the killer of 23-year-old Bjorn Brown, and last week a court heard the heartbreaking victim statement of the mother of murdered 19-year-old Andre Aderemi after three men were convicted of his murder on the Monks Hill estate in Croydon. No verdict was returned on the fourth defendant, Jamell Lonergan, 19, of Woodcroft Road in Thornton Heath, who may face retrial.

At the recent Thornton Heath Safer Neighbourhood ward panel police reported that a young man was robbed of his moped at knifepoint on Woodville Road. A stop and search on Parchmore Road also resulted in a conviction for possession of a machete and knife.

Knife crime is on the increase especially in London and the police have run a number of initiatives in support of an anti-knife crime drive – Operation Sceptre – including conducting weapons sweeps of the area (pictured).

Bensham Manor police also visited Thornton Heath Rec raising awareness about knife crime and reminding park users that it is a controlled drinking zone.

  • Police in Thornton Heath executed a drugs warrant on May 3 and sezied
    a quantity of Class A and B drugs (pictured). Two arrests for possession with intent to supply were made.