London’s deputy Mayor for policing has pledged to provide funding for more special constables in Croydon.

Kit Malthouse spoke to the Croydon Guardian about the Cops for Croydon campaign at a meeting last week.

Mr Malthouse said he was sympathetic to Croydon’s case and said funding would be made available for as many special constables as the borough could sign up.

Gavin Barwell, cabinet member for safety and cohesion, said the volunteer police force was part of the answer but Croydon still needs more full-time police.

He said: “I think specials can be part of the answer.

“One of the advantages of special constables is they have the powers of police officers but there is some limit on the time they have available, as most have full time jobs.

“The council has just signed up to a scheme to encourage its own staff to sign up and become special constables.”

Croydon Council is sponsoring council staff to become special constables through the Boroughbeat programme.

It gives paid leave for staff to undergo the four-week police training course to become special constables.

Once fully trained the new special constables are given one day off work a fortnight to patrol Croydon’s streets.

More businesses have pledged to support the council’s campaign.

Centrale centre manager David Parham said: “The recent Business Improvement District (Bid)-funded increase in local policing has had a direct impact on the success of Croydon businesses in and around the town centre.

“By reducing general crime levels, improving security for businesses and establishing a safer Croydon for local and visiting shoppers, the Bid initiative has already gone a long way to entice consumers to the area.

“With further resources allowing the provision of additional officers on the streets, Croydon could further strengthen its position as one of the key shopping destinations in the UK.

“I’m therefore strongly backing this call to the Mayor.”

Andrew Bauer, chairman of Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership, said: “Working in close partnership with the police and the Bid town centre team, the CBCP (Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership ) has had significant success in reducing theft and anti-social behaviour in town centre retail premises since its launch in August 2009.

“The availability of police officers to respond to incidents is a key component of the scheme, and any initiative to increase their numbers has the full support of the CBCP, as we believe the deployment of additional officers in the town centre would have an immediate and very positive impact on the shopping experience, under-pinning Croydon`s future aspirations to achieve economic growth and city status.”