Croydon’s MPs have called on the government to take urgent action to provide the resources to stop the knife crime epidemic after a teenager was stabbed to death on a Thornton Heath street.
In a joint statement (read left) North Croydon MP Steve Reed and Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones, said that knife crime in Croydon is at ‘dangerously high levels’ .
Jermaine Goupall, just 15, and a pupil at St Joseph’s College in Upper Norwood was pronounced dead shortly before midnight in Georgia Road last night after being stabbed.
The killing not far from where Jermaine lived with his family, is near the junction with Green Lane where two men were injured in a double shooting last month.
Unconfirmed reports say the youngster was stabbed with a samurai sword. Witnesses said it was “revenge attack” after a confrontation just hours earlier.
According to one eyewitness, some local boys carrying lumps of wood had chased off two youths on mopeds who were not from the area earlier in the day. Hours later, the youths are said to have returned in a car, wearing balaclavas.
In the statement issued by the MPs they reveal that police resources are so stretched that recently when residents (on an undisclosed street) phoned about a gang fight on a street outside their home they were told “there were no officers available to help.”
Residents say the area is plagued by anti social behaviour and have been calling for CCTV to stop youths congregating.
There have been no arrests at this stage and detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) are investigating.
Jermaine’s family paid tribute to the teen who had dreamed of one day becoming an architect.
Jermaine’s father Stanley Goupall, told the Evening Standard: “I want the perpetrators to know what a lovely boy my son was. He was special, he was adored by his family, friends and the community.
“He had been for a day out with friends he hadn’t seen for a while and never came back.
“He also loved pets and cherished his cat Happy.”
Mr Goupall, an electrician who runs his own business, Astronic Ltd, said Jermaine was a talented badminton and rugby player and an excellent swimmer.
Aanyone with information that may assist the investigation has been urged to call police on 101.
To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.