A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Last week's attack and Croydon's reputation
21/01/2014 13:17:00


First and foremost, my thoughts are with the victims of last week’s attack where two teenage boys were stabbed in the Whitgift Centre during the early evening.

But beyond the injuries they sustained, it’s important to recognise that incidents like this also damage the town’s reputation.

The police, supported by the Council and some outstanding voluntary organisations like Lives Not Knives, are making significant progress in reducing knife crime - so far this financial year, there have been 386 offences across the borough compared to 492 in the same period last year.

But one high-profile incident can obscure that progress and in any case 386 offences is still far too many.

The extra police we are getting will help and I know that Westfield and Hammerson are committed to working with the police to make the town centre safer still, but we also need to tackle the underlying social problems that lead to people behaving in this way.

Comment on this blog


Readers' Comments

On 21/01/2014 15:29:00 Ian wrote:
You can charge the look of the place but until the scum are gone its a losing battle.

What about the unwelcome p****s at Croydon Arena why are they not moved as soon as they turn up, since they been there 3 robberies or thefts.

Until a punishment that actually fits the crime nothing will change.

On 21/01/2014 21:14:00 JAY BENEDICT wrote:
It’s not one occasional attack on dignity, it’s a repeated humiliation, being continuously dispossessed in a society rich with possession. Young, intelligent citizens of the ghetto seek an explanation for why they are … condemned to a darkness where their humanity is not even valued enough to be helped. Savagery is a possibility within us all. Some of us have been lucky enough not to have to call upon it for survival; others, exhausted from failure, can justify resorting to it.
On 21/01/2014 21:26:00 JAY BENEDICT wrote:
I should have credited Camila Batmanghelidj for saying what I said in my previous blog. I accidentally left her name out! She's absolutely right on all accounts...!! It took the riots before they started pumping in money round our way but education is the answer, doncha know? I think it was Tony Blair's mantra, wasn't it? Education education education...What happened? Until we start making people feel good about themselves, seeing a fairer society with less noses in the trough-The haves and have nots-seeing some future for people in general they'll always be stabbings in shopping Malls..
On 23/01/2014 12:40:00 David Cavanagh wrote:
You seem to have missed this comment see below:

First your words:

"My policy is that I will always let comments appear from people who disagree with me, in a spirit of promoting reasoned debate. However, I will not allow comments to be posted which are defamatory to someone else, or which are racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise likely to fail a 'public decency' test."

Then a comment on this blog item responding to you:

On 21/01/2014 15:29:00 Ian wrote:

"You can charge the look of the place but until the scum are gone its a losing battle.

What about the unwelcome p****s at Croydon Arena why are they not moved as soon as they turn up, since they been there 3 robberies or thefts."

I have commented on your laxity before on your Twitter page. Surely as a member of Parliament you or your staff can take a little more care about what you allow on your web page? Or maybe you find the term "p****s" acceptable?

On 23/01/2014 16:45:00 Gavin Barwell wrote:
David - fair comment, it was allowed in error and not by me. It's being amended.
On 24/01/2014 01:01:00 Matthew Carr wrote:
Ians well in his right though, for YEARS Travellers have plagued South London. I live near Arena, Ashburton Playing Fields and Bywood woods and for too many years have had to walk past the trash that's left by them. I'll note that the council may have finally secured the fields at least from the Travellers blocking off the final unsecured access point at the bottom with several large tree stumps (I suggested concrete blocks... but lets see how this goes) Still the fence to Ashburton school playing fields is damaged from the last visit. Arena needs to be tackled next, some bollards or an embankment along the southwest edge.

Also pavement all over Croydon needs repairing... it's when the area is in such a miserable state that kids seem to just give up and not give a damn and run about stabbing each other as they don't see a future for themselves.

I mean this 1 billion shopping centre is a joke the way it currently looks... looks like we're just building a flashy centre people can come to and quickly evacuate... what about the rest of Croydon? 3 years on from the riots and there are still huge blackened holes where houses and shops used to be. As well as the general... quality of shops that way. The whole area needs a do-over, Whitgift centre needs a new roof and that's about it, pull down and replace St Georges Walk if anything, you know the big empty mess from the 60's next to the Clocktower Library, Could make a nice square there that draws people in from Grants & Library or at least that links them up with a few places to eat and shop, heck get an Apple Store towards the base of the Nestle tower.

On 29/01/2014 18:02:00 I am nobody wrote:
The council is spending money, revamping the paintwork and hallway interiors, on the run down blocks of flats of addington. Just putting a new coat of paint on things, dosn't get rid of damp and deal with antisocial people smoking weed in the hallways and using them as toilets urinating and defecating. The general population are in general trying to get by, but we are encouraged to grass up neighbours and spy on each other rather than see the bigger picture.We are being herded like cattle and the good are lumped together with the scum.What chance has a child got growing up in such a hostile enviroment? Antisocial people should be fined and removed, not allowed to harass and intimidate. Nobody should be allowed to drink in a public house at 10 am, disgusting. If you want to make things better, invest money in after school clubs and community centres for kids and teenagers to do something else than smoke weed smash bottles , have underage and unprotected sex and rot.

Stop people coming to this country to rape the health services and cheat on benefits.

Help people back to work , not to massage statistics and gain votes but because it is beneficial to them and society in general. There is no insentive to work if you have nothing to show for it, after paying childcare and bills and never see your kids. Stop the media focusing on the scummy element potrayed on tv like "benefit street".Yes those people are real and all over the country, but it tars everybody on benefits with the same brush.

Stop the corruptness in government, banks and services and people may start to trust and listin, but as it is, you are just another bs merchant.

Just my point of view, don't know you personally but you don't look like you've had half the problems many have.

As for kids stabbing each other, make the laws harsher so they don't carry a weapon.The law is a joke and they all know it.

Life is worthless to them so taking one is not even a consideration.

Maybe an afterthought but the mentality is "I want respect, your disrespecting me or I want what you got" something is badly wrong with society and the riots will come again no doubt.

Its only a matter of time as nobody cares about the teenagers brought up in poverty taught by their elders this is how to live.

Simple soloution give people self respect and make the enviroment a nice place and safe place to live.

A simple paintjob and a few neighbour wardens arn't cutting it.

On 29/01/2014 23:58:00 Nathan G V wrote:
While specific incidents such as this grab the headlines, fact of the matter is Croydon is in decline and there is no running away from that fact. The riots of 2010 have been an absolute disaster for the area's reputation. Rampant littering, potholed roads, dirty parks, empty shops and the flight of quality employers like Nestle from the area has left the place feeling like a sad relic of its past. The authorities need to wake up to this decline and take active steps to arrest it. They need to start maintaining the roads and public spaces better, spruce up the town centre and actively try to bring back marquee employers to the area through incentives so that there is employment for local youth. Failing that, Croydon's future does not look very bright I am afraid.
On 30/01/2014 08:38:00 john jones wrote:
Jay Benedict , I am afraid your analysis of the situation is as far removed from the reality of the situation as it is possible to get. Both this attack and the one in Tesco's were perpetrated by SCHOOL CHILDREN who are not subjected to 'repeated humiliation'. or 'continuous dispossession'. They are young yes . But do intelligent people stab each other for fun ?. They are certainly not yet citizens but citizens of a sort in the making. And far far from being 'condemned to a darkness' these are some of the most cosseted members of society. When my grandfather - and probably yours - was a lot younger than some of these children , he was engaged in work and putting food on the family table. Menial work. Hard work. But in those days hard menial work was the route to respect and self dignity. These days as a result of the culture of entitlement young people sneer at menial work and demand 'respect' not having contributed anything worthy of respect. Until we start to look at the hard reality of what is going on and seriously disabuse youngsters of any sense of 'entitlement' this horror will go on. Simply because we are not putting any fear of consequences in the way. Try asking any of these children to pick up rubbish they have discarded and see what happens. Try asking them to move down on the bus. Try asking them to turn down their headphones or mobiles on the train or tram. You will be taking your life in your hands. That is the reality of the situation. Not this airy fairy 'dispossession' nonsense bandied about. Young people who could not be bothered to be in possession of a command of the English language are hardly entitled to claim possession of anything else.



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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2019       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG