Officers in Croydon arrested a 17-year-old boy carrying a 16-inch machete after they stopped and searched him.

At 7pm on Monday (July 27), officers were carrying out a weapons sweep on Drummond Road, when a group of young men changed their direction of travel after seeing them. The group split up, so officers proceeded to approach them.

A 17-year-old ran away but was detained for stop and search after a brief chase. The officers found him to be in possession of a large machete which was immediately seized.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and possession of class B drugs and remains in police custody.

A section 60 - a power that allows police officers to stop and search anyone in the area - was in place at the time of the search, following several knife-related incidents in Croydon over the last two days.

Inspector Kathy Morteo said:

“This stop shows the effectiveness and value of stop and search and how it can keep our communities safe. We may not have found the blade if it wasn’t for the powers we have under stop and search.

“Part of the investigation will also address how we, along with local partners, can support him and look after his welfare.”

Officers urge anyone with information about crime, those who carry a weapon, or those who exploit others for gain or revenge, while putting young people’s lives at risk, to come forward.

If you are worried about someone, advice and support is available through organisations including Knife Free and Fearless.