Croydon children accessing ‘hateful and misogynistic’ material online – South London News

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

There are concerns children in Croydon are accessing “hateful and misogynistic” material online.

The fears were raised at a meeting on Tuesday as the council’s cabinet committed to creating a three-year plan to tackle violence against women and girls.

Donna Murray-Turner, chairwoman of Croydon’s safer neighbourhood board, said: “A lot of people see Croydon on the news and think we are notorious for knife crime, but domestic violence has always underpinned that. It affects not only women and girls but also the children in that environment.”

She said after a community meeting she had been contacted by parents who were concerned about what their children were accessing online.

Some had found their children on “incel platforms”- short for involuntary celibate – which is an online community of young men who are hostile towards women.

Ms Murray-Turner said: “Some of the hate and misogyny that they pedal [on the platforms] is all the more prevalent now with our young population and how much access they have.”

Croydon Mayor Jason Perry said the council’s public commitment to women’s safety comes after a community reassurance meeting was held when Owami Davis was missing.

Since the pandemic domestic violence in Croydon has increased and risen to the highest level in London.

There were 5,154 reported incidents of domestic abuse last year, an increase of 18per cent on the previous year.

Mayor Perry said: “It came about due to growing concerns around the disappearance of Owami Davis.

“While I am glad she was found safely it was clear from the meeting that the community want to see more clarity about what Croydon is going to do to protect women and girls in Croydon. The statistics should be of concern to us all.”

A 2021 survey by the Safer Croydon Partnership found half of women and girls in the borough felt unsafe where they lived.

“Many did not feel safe while travelling or waiting for public transport, in parks, shopping centres and high streets, as well as in pubs, bars, and clubs.

The council’s “statement of intent” sets out how it will work with the police and community partners to make women and girls feel safer in the borough.

Pictured top: Croydon town hall (Picture: Grahame Larter)

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