New police chief wants to make Croydon a ‘destination’
The incoming borough commander says he wants police in Croydon to help make the town a “destination”.
Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe will take up his new post as the borough’s most senior police officer on December 10, replacing the retiring Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, who has been in the role since July 2014.
Speaking at this week’s Croydon Economic Summit, Chief Supt Boothe talked of his hope that the police can fulfil a vital role in improving the town’s reputation and future prospects.
Having spent the majority of his career in London, including 24 years’ service with the British Transport Police (BTP), he compared the borough’s aspirations to a redevelopment project he was part of.
He told a gathered audience: “From my previous experience, working in central London, I had the pleasure of being involved with the redevelopment of St Pancras international station.
“I was approached at the time by the developers and they were asking me to put in place a policing style which was in alignment with their vision.
“Their vision was that they wanted St Pancras to be a destination location. A place where people could flock to, where they could use the bars and restaurants, and feel safe.
“Now, for me, there are a number of similarities in terms of what Croydon is looking to do and has already started to do.
“One of the things that I will be looking at, when I take over the role, is to review our policing style to see what we can do to assist in the further development of that vision.”
During the talk he didn’t elaborate on whether he felt the current policing style needed an overhaul or what his ideal policing style is.
The summit looked at the state of the town’s nightlife, which many people have been criticial of in recent years, with the closure of the likes of Tiger Tiger, Yates’s and Black Sheep Bar.
Chief Supt Boothe also talked about his vision of how to make Croydon as safe as possible.
He said: “It won’t be just [about how we use] police officers. It will be looking at working with the community, it will be looking at Specials, it will be looking at Cadets.
“It is that mixture, that complimentary policing that [improves the] overall experience [to ensure] anybody walking in Croydon, anytime of the day or night, feels safe.
“There is no point in sitting here and saying crime levels are down, it’s about people’s perceptions. How do we work with the local community and how do we make them aware of all the things being done?
“For me how we move forward is how we work in partnership and how we look at what the overall vision is and then say to ourselves what can we do collectively to achieve that overall aim.
“So for me policing isn’t just about locking people up, it’s about working in partnership with businesses, education and the local community to [achieve] that overall vision.”