The Metropolitan Police have launched a new initiative dubbed 'Operation Cleveland' in a bid to tackle violent crime in Croydon after a spate of stabbings in the area.

In an open letter sent out to Croydon residents and published online, Met Superintendent Andy Brittain said that the new operation, whilst planned prior to the attacks witnessed in the borough on Friday and Saturday, would aim to tackle the violence and anti-social behaviour seen on the streets in recent days.

As the Croydon Guardian reported previously, police presence in Croydon increased after the stabbings, with several Section 60 Orders giving officers heightened powers to stop and search people in the area.

Brittain suggested such tactics, which have drawn criticism in recent years, would be implemented as part of their approach.

Operation Cleveland, he said, would focus on West Croydon in particular where at least one of the stabbings took place.

"Today we launch Operation Cleveland which, while planned prior to the events of the weekend, will focus on the West Croydon area.

"Over the next few weeks, you will see an increased police presence in the area.

"Officers will be carrying out high-visibility patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

"When required, these officers will use Stop and Search powers in order to take knives and drugs off the street," Brittain wrote.

The Met have defended their use of the controversial Stop and Search policy despite a number of studies showing that it disproportionately targeted Black people in England and Wales.

Your Local Guardian: Image via Croydon MPS / TwitterImage via Croydon MPS / Twitter

In the open letter Brittain also reflected on the wave of stabbings in the area that left one 22-year-old dead after he was found fatally stabbed on Wisbeach Road in Croydon on Friday night (February 5).

"One young person tragically lost his life and our thoughts are with his family.

"I want to take a moment to thank all the community leaders who came forward with advice and support," Brittain added, referencing several prominent individuals in the community including MPs Sarah Jones and Steve Reed, Shakeel Cocker from the Independent Advisory Group and Croydon Council Leader Hamida Ali.

The Wisbeach Road incident is now being investigated with a murder probe by the Met Police.

It was just one of several stabbings to take place in Croydon between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, with the most recent occurring in the moments before a man was found around 3pm on London Road near West Croydon station with a stab wound.

To read the full statement on Operation Cleveland, click here.

For more coverage on last weekend's events in Croydon, click here.

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