Croydon council and police confident over riots anniversary
Business owners fearful the anniversary of last year’s riots will see more disorder have been told the police and council are ready for anything.
Acting borough commander Rob Atkin said he has never seen so many officers in Croydon, and plans a high visibility offensive, with visits to key areas and targeted raids planned in the coming days.
He said: "I am confident we have enough police for Croydon – It is about visibility and reassurance in the key areas."
He quashed rumours only one officer would be available per ward because of the Olympics stating police from Lancashire and Yorkshire have been called in to offer additional support and detectives from CID would also be available.
He said: "I can honestly say I have never seen so many officers in the borough – you can’t move for tripping over them."
A meeting convened yesterday he explained a key lesson learned was gathering intelligence an incident could be on the horizon.
A phone number to report suspicions has been issued to key people across the borough, police will be monitoring social media sites for signs of planned disturbance and new CCTV has been installed.
Jon Rouse chief executive of Croydon Council was also in attendance.
He said: "I would like to say there has been no intelligence a repeat is planned. We can never say it won’t happen again but I believe it would not manifest with widespread looting. The severe sentences handed out will have discouraged many from getting involved."
Mr Rouse explained the council has been working with those involved in the riots to prevent repeat offending and joined up communication across London will allow officers in Croydon to respond if other boroughs are showing signs of copycat behaviour.
He said: "Our work against gangs has taken some of the worst offenders off the streets "Some of the most dangerous persons are those who were locked up in prison who are now coming out. Working with probation and the youth offending team we have one on ones with those offenders during intense rehab. "Some of these were receptive and we have managed to find them job opportunities and work."