Croydon police move to reassure public about youth violence after Whitgift Centre stabbings
Croydon police have admitted there is still work to do in the battle against knife crime after two teenagers were stabbed in the Whitgift Centre last week.
Last week two teenage boys aged 16 and 17 were stabbed in Croydon’s biggest shopping destination, the Whitgift Centre.
Both boys were taken to hospital but did not sustain life threatening injuries.
It is believed those who stabbed the pair were of school age. There has yet to be any arrests in the case.
Police are still appealing for witnesses to come forward.
In a separate incident, three young men were arrested in the early hours of Monday morning after a 18-year-old man was stabbed following a fight between rival gangs in Pawsons Road, Selhurst.
A witness said the area was like a ‘war-zone.’ One of Croydon’s most senior officers, Detective superintendent Simon Messinger, has moved to allay fears that the borough is regressing in its attempts to curb knife crime.
D Supt Messinger said in the past year there have been 583 victims of youth violence which is 87 fewer victims compared to the previous year.
He added the amount of knife crime offences had dropped to 387 for the past year compared to 492 previously.
But despite the positive stats, D Supt Messinger said tackling knife crime and youth violence remained a priority for the police.
He warned carrying a knife or a weapon will see you targeted by police and said: "We are not complacent and incidents such as the stabbing in the Whitgift Centre last week, whilst still relatively rare, show that we still have work to do to reduce this further.
"Knife crime across the borough has reduced significantly and we are determined to carry this on.
"We continue to target those who carry and use weapons and through the more targeted, intelligence-led use of stop and search, 150 arrests were made last year for offensive weapons or firearms offences.
"If you are carrying a weapon or knife, then you can expect to be targeted and arrested."
He added police are also engaging with young people through schools and the council to encourage youngsters away from crime.
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