Croydon borough’s elected Mayor Jason Perry, has indicated his intention to reopen a busy access point next week which was closed following "several very serious incidents".

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), he said: “We’re remodelling at the moment. I hope it will reopen in about a week’s time, though it has taken a bit longer than we had hoped.”

The main in-person access point for Croydon residents was closed last week following what the council called “several very serious incidents” regarding security.

One of these incidents involved a 26-year-old homeless black woman who claimed she was verbally and physically abused by three security guards after attending an emergency housing interview.

A formal complaint made to the mayor stated that the woman was "confronted by three male council security officers who forcibly removed her, causing her harm and distress".

According to sources, she had been homeless for a number of weeks prior to the incident and had already had her housing meeting cancelled three times prior to this incident.

Two Metropolitan Police officers were called to the scene before the vulnerable woman was hospitalised with injuries to her wrist and abdomen area.

She was later discharged. 

Mayor Perry told the LDRS: “Unfortunately, we had a couple of incidents where staff were threatened.

"We need to preserve our staff safety, so we put different measures in place and remodelled the area. We need to make sure that our staff are safe in their working environment.”

“We have rezoned it, putting people in different areas. So when it comes to dealing with council tax, housing or children’s services there will be a better design, so people can be sent to where they can be dealt with where they need to be.”

According to the Mayor, the authority has used the time to remodel the space so that it better serves residents and provides more protection for its staff.

In practice, this remodelling will involve reconfiguring the front desk info point and adjusting security and staff ratios.

The walk-in-centre provides residents with one-to-one access to council services. From the centre, residents can do anything from pay rent and check council tax to request repairs and waste collections. 

The Access Croydon concourse is currently closed to residents, with the only access being via an intercom triage system that can be accessed at the front door.

Perry told the LDRS: “I don’t like seeing residents shut out, it’s not a good look.”