Croydon's top policeman has blamed local newspapers like the Croydon Guardian for the fear of crime which is gripping the borough's residents.

According to Borough Commander Mark Gore the stabbings, sexual assaults, shootings and robberies taking place on an almost daily basis across his beat are not to blame.

Chief Superintendent Gore told people at the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group that it was the way those crimes were reported in newspapers which were to blame for the high levels of fear of crime which he and the council are attempting to address.

He was speaking days after a triple stabbing on Shirley's Shrublands estate and weeks after a schoolboy used a pair of scissors to stab a classmate in the head.

His views were also supported by the group's chairman Graham Speed, which raised questions about the panel's supposedly independent status.

Mr Gore's extraordinary outburst upset some community workers who make up the group.

Kathy Bonds, chairman of the Phoenix Community Centre in Upper Norwood, said: "It's ridiculous to blame newspapers for the fear of crime in Croydon, I've never heard anything so absurd."

Mr Gore said after the meeting: "I really do feel passionately about Croydon. I feel there is a tremendous amount of good work going on. "I think what we ask for is fair reporting, both of crime issues and other good things that are going on. "This was just part of an open discussion about how people feel about that."