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Police in Croydon to crack down on Christmas street crime

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POLICE in civvies will be joining uniformed colleagues to crack down on Christmas crime.

In addition to the town centre team of ten officers, a further 19 who have been trained to deal with town centre security will also be patrolling throughout December.

Superintendent Rob Atkin, the borough's deputy commander, said the plain-clothes officers would play an important part in dealing with and preventing street robberies.

He said the overall intention of the increased presence would be to make people, either out shopping during the day or celebrating at night, feel safe.

Superintendent Atkin said: "In terms of the daytime this is about having greater visibility on the streets.

"We know it is important that people feel secure. We want them to be able to come here and shop in peace and enjoy the shopping and entertainment."

The police will also be working closely with the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership, an initiative involving town centre retailers to tackle shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.

The partnership works under the auspices of the Croydon Business Improvement District (BID)

Matthew Sims, chief executive of the BID, said the partnership with the police to make the centre more secure was growing in strength.

He said: "There is still work to be done but great strides are being made.

"The whole thing is to create the right kind of atmosphere and we are more than happy with the way the relationship with the police is developing."

Mr Sims said the question of making Croydon attractive to visitors was not, however, limited to security.

The BID is therefore running its own agenda to attract more people into the town centre focusing on entertainment being provided for the next three weekends from street entertainers usually based in Covent Garden.

The BID is also confident its new Check Out Croydon loyalty card, with its offers from shops, pubs and restaurants, will also improve the overall shopping experience.

Mr Sims said: "Shopping at Christmas can be stressful and the entertainers will help create the atmosphere we want.

"They will help put a smile on people's faces at a time when they might well be feeling fraught."

Police in Croydon to crack down on Christmas street crime


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