While crime rates are lower here than in neighbouring wards a new policing model means that for Bensham Manor and Thornton Heath – there is just a combined  force of four police officers and two Community Support Officers for 33,000 people. This works out at one police officer per 5,500 residents.

The days when neighbourhood policing was seen as a priority are long gone. What’s worse though is that our over stretched officers are working considerably harder than other wards in Croydon, many of which are not as densely populated and have less issues but the same police numbers.

Labour has pledged if elected to provide an extra 10,000 officers but while some crimes such as the use of knives is increasing, many crimes remain the lowest for decades and experts believe that crime prevention is a better solution.This is borne out by a recent Thornton Heath ward panel where police shared an insight in to what crimes are being committed and how the solutions lie with businesses, residents and the council.

  • The theft stats in the ward are always high because of shoplifting. Police reported that Superdrug suffers £25,000 losses as a result of thefts but say it is cheaper than hiring a security guard.
  • Car crime is up 40 percent but officers revealed that on one short patrol they had come across 12 cars which were
  • A lot of police time is occupied by anti social behaviour at Kettering Court and sheltered housing at Laxton Court. Unwelcome callers frequently invade the buildings causing trouble but the council’s CCTV hasn’t worked for months and a more secure keypad needs to be installed.

Some trespassers also get in using ‘fireman’s key’ which can be purchased for a couple of pounds off the Internet.
It is meant to open communal entrance doors and other security doors where Fire Brigade access is required but is now being misused.