Croydon’s MPs have called on the government to take urgent action to provide the resources to stop the knife crime epidemic after a teenager was stabbed to death on a Thornton Heath street.
In a joint statement (read left) North Croydon MP Steve Reed and Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones, said that knife crime in Croydon is at ‘dangerously high levels’ .
Jermaine Goupall, just 15, and a former pupil at St Joseph’s College in Upper Norwood was pronounced dead shortly before midnight in Georgia Road on August 18 after being stabbed.
The killing not far from where Jermaine lived with his family, is near the junction with Green Lane where two men were injured in a double shooting last month. Five people have so far been arrested in connection with the murder of the youngster who was stabbed in the thigh.
He was out with a group of friends before he was confronted by another group of young people who were wearing balaclavas and had knives and a machete, according to police.
In the statement issued by the MPs they reveal that police resources are so stretched that recently when residents (on an undisclosed street) phoned about a gang fight on a street outside their home they were told “there were no officers available to help.”
Residents say the area is plagued by anti social behaviour and have been calling for CCTV to stop youths congregating.
There have been no arrests at this stage and detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) are investigating.
Jermaine’s family paid tribute to the teen who had dreamed of one day becoming an architect.
Jermaine’s father Stanley Goupall, told the Evening Standard: “I want the perpetrators to know what a lovely boy my son was. He was special, he was adored by his family, friends and the community.
“He had been for a day out with friends he hadn’t seen for a while and never came back.
“He also loved pets and cherished his cat Happy.”
Mr Goupall, an electrician who runs his own business, Astronic Ltd, said Jermaine was a talented badminton and rugby player and an excellent swimmer.
*Saskia Haye-Elliot, of North Downs Crescent in New Addington, and a 16-year-old boy, also of New Addington, appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on August 14..
The teenagers, who appeared in custody, spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses to the court after the magistrates made the decision not to send the 16-year-old’s case to youth court.
Haye-Elliot and the 16-year-old were charged with murder on Saturday on August 12).
Aanyone with information that may assist the investigation has been urged to call police on 101.
To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.