Croydon's Future

Croydon's police

Croydon police during the night of the riots
Croydon's thin blue line
The events of 8/8 have given us much to reflect on regarding Croydon’s policing.  Undoubtedly, the police on Croydon’s streets on 8/8 were brave in the face of a very dangerous situation.  They deserve our gratitude and admiration.  However, the dogged journalism of InsideCroydon has raised many uncomfortable questions on the adequacy of police resourcing on 8/8.  In the aftermath of 8/8, we learn of the loss of the borough’s top police officer – Adrian Roberts.  But perhaps the most disturbing revelation is that Croydon’s police seem to have been losing the battle for “hearts and minds” in some parts of the borough – well before 8/8.

We have learned from InsideCroydon's post of 2 September that a tiny complement of between 60 to 100 officers were on the streets of Croydon on 8/8.  Many of these brave officers had no specific riot training and lacked heavy duty protective body armour.  There were some remarkable stories of courage that night – PC Andy Hewlett being especially noteworthy.

However, our admiration of the bravery of “the few” is mixed with amazement at the tiny number of officers who were mobilised.  The small numbers are all the more amazing given InsideCroydon’s revelations that the police were forewarned – as evidenced by police warnings to traders early that morning that Croydon was at risk.