Fears have emerged that Croydon could face a “summer of knife and gun crime” following the murder of two teenage boys in less than 10 days.
A 16-year-old boy was stabbed in Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath on July 9. He died in hospital two days later.
Just over a week earlier, 16-year-old Camron Smith died after being stabbed inside a home on the Shrublands Estate on July 1.
Conservative councillor Andy Stranack called for an urgent strategy to deal with crime in the borough at cabinet on Monday (July 12).
He said: “My heart breaks as I’m sure all ours does when we come to a meeting and have to report that another young person’s death.
“[At a community meeting on Friday] there was a real fear from community leaders that this was the start of a summer of knife and gun crime across our borough.
“I would like to call for an emergency community safety strategy to be drawn up within the next 30 days to set out how we are going to tackle this epidemic in our borough.
“Practically I’d like us to support the purchase of some mobile knife arches that the police can deploy across the borough so we can take practical steps to make sure this summer is a safe one for all our citizens.”
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Council leader Hamida Ali said the incidents had left the community “shocked and in mourning”.
She added: “Following any of these incidents we’ll all be asking ourselves, what more can we be doing? Our focus as a local authority is to be utterly focussed on prevention.
“Our communities can’t continue to face these tragedies, we are looking at our summer programme to ensure it can reach everyone we know it needs to.”
Cabinet member for communities, safety and business recovery, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed said that the council is working on a strategy.
She said: “The safety strategy is being developed, we’ve started speaking to the voluntary and community organisations and a number of consultation meetings will be taking place across the borough in preparation for developing that strategy.”
Croydon Central MP, Sarah Jones has also issued call for the summer holidays to be “flooded” with mentorship programmes.
On Monday (July 12) she told the House of Commons: “The epidemic of violence on our streets has been growing. Younger and younger boys are losing their lives on our street in horrific murders, including a 16-year-old we are mourning in my own constituency.
“I want all young people to be able to unlock their talent including that small group that are vulnerable of being gripped by crime.”
Police are investigating the fatal stabbing of the 16-year-old boy in Thornton Heath on July 9 and have arrested two men in connection with the murder investigation.
Three teenagers have been charged with the murder of 16-year-old Camron Smith.