I received the following message from Chief Superintendent Adrian Roberts, Croydon Police Borough Commander, about crime in Croydon:
The Met's official yearly crime statistics were released last Friday and, on the back of this, Croydon's results are also in. Overall I think that there are some very big positives we can take from these - I've included some of the key crimes below, but you can see more on the Met police website.
Violent crimes down
There have been reductions in practically every area of violent crime including: violence with injury (-9.7%), serious youth violence (-12.9%), knife crime (-6.5%), gun crime (-6.3%), most serious violence (-7.3%), domestic violence (-9.4%) and rape (-4.1%). To put this in perspective, it means there have been 300 fewer victims of violence with injury. How ever you look at these figures, I think that is very good news for this borough. I've always said that violent crime and youth violence are my top priorities, so I am extremely pleased to see that the hard work of my staff and our partners is paying off.
Similarly, our detection rates for violent and domestic crime are also very pleasing, with over half of all domestic crimes (53.7%) being detected and over 90% of all domestic violence suspects being arrested as well, which is one of, if not, the highest arrest rates across London. 40.5% of most serious violence crimes are also solved, which is above our target and means these offenders are being brought to justice.
Acquisitive crime remains a challenge
However, we still face many challenges - particularly with acquisitive crime. Both burglary and robbery are up compared to last year by 6.2% and 2.4% respectively. This is not something that Croydon is experiencing alone, but we are alive to the challenge and will be doing all we can with our partners and communities in the coming year to get to grips with these crimes and reverse the trend. What I will say about robbery is that the numbers are relatively low and we do not currently have a trend emerging anywhere on the borough.
Confidence and satisfaction
These areas are critical in my view and I'm pleased to say that the level of people in Croydon who think that "police are doing a good job" remains high at around 70%. Further to this, our "user satisfaction", which essentially measures how satisfied victims of crime are with the service we provide, is high with almost 80% of people surveyed satisfied with the service. That said, I am determined to build on these over the coming year.
Also our emergency response times for the most urgent calls continue to be good, with our average response time at 9 minutes compared to a target time of 12 minutes, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of my operational teams.
Overall, I think that the figures help to tell a story that Croydon is becoming safer and the tactics we are using with partners are working. My message is that we have achieved a lot over the last year, but that I will not be complacent and I'll be looking to maintain and improve the reductions we've seen in violent crime. I also want to get to grips with acquisitive crime and will be seeking to reduce burglary and robbery this year.
As always, I really do value your feedback and comments. All too often I hear negative comments regarding Croydon and violent crime but, as these figures show, all is not bad and crimes like knife crime and serious youth violence are considerably lower than they were 12 months ago.
Adrian and his team, together with the Council's community safety team, do a good job in often difficult circumstances. Crime is the number one issue raised with me on the doortstep so it's great to see things moving in the right direction.