A 26-year-old man has become the latest victim of the knife crime epidemic after he was stabbed in Thornton Heath yesterday (Weds) evening.

The man is believe to have sustained a stab wound to his leg and was wounded during the incident on Cotford Road opposite Tesco. Police were called to the scene by London Ambulance Service at 18:35pm on Wednesday (March 6) and say his injuries are not life threatening.

The stabbing coincides with the release of a new report called the Vulnerable Adolescents Thematic Review by the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) which was set up in the wake of three teenage deaths in less than a month in the summer of 2017. 

The study  looked at the lives of 60 youngsters – all of whom were know Croydon’s children’s  Services – and among the cases reviewed were three boys stabbed to death before reaching the age of 17. 

In the study children people describe their areas as dangerous with some saying that they joined gangs to feel safer. One  18-year-old said: “You never go to Thornton Heath naked (without a knife).”

The Chronicle understands that youths are routinely chased through the train station and are jumping the barriers all the time as they escape other youths with knifes.

A Met spokesman said: “The 26-year-old man was taken to a south London hospital for treatment; his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

“Officers from the South Area Command Unit are investigating.

“There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

“Anyone with information is asked to call police via 101 quoting reference 6280/6Mar.”

The safeguarding report  looks at  children’s perception of safety with them describing the areas they live in as ‘dangerous’ or ‘not safe’. Several children identified that peer pressure has a significant factor as some children got involved in gangs or violence to feel safer and to avoid becoming victims themselves.

Having nothing to do, or nowhere to go outside of school, meant that some children hung around the streets or fast food outlets, which they believed increased the risk of violence and heightened perceptions of not feeling safe, resulting in more children carrying weapons to protect themselves. 

The review aims to better understand how to respond to the needs of vulnerable adolescents drawn in to violence and  includes a number of case studies and quotes a 16-year-old boy saying: “My mum has wanted to move since I got stabbed in Croydon when I was 13”.

Another teenager of the same age says: “Croydon is dangerous for young people, it’s not safe.” 

This week London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Lib Peck who is director of the mayor’s new London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)  visited Croydon BME Forum and met with young people from Croydon who have been affected by knife crime. 

The council has subsequently  announced plans to create a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and adopt a public health approach to tackle the root causes of serious violent crime which is what led to homicide figures dropping dramatically in Glasgow. The public health approach advocates treating crime as a public health issue and focusing on prevention rather than cure.

Croydon’s plans will build on its recent successes in crime reduction. In the last 12 months it has been one of the only boroughs in London to see knife crime decrease.