Croydon Lives

Croydon Community Leaders and Kingston University team up to support victims of crime

Croydon Community Leaders logo

A collaborative project between Croydon Community Leaders and Kingston University has led to better understanding of the factors leading to crime and the development of resources designed for professionals to help victims of violent crime and their families.

Croydon Community Leaders is a marketing consultancy and stakeholder engagement firm dedicated to empowering the Croydon community. Its mission is to provide the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to improve public services, foster innovation and promote community engagement.

Funded by BIG South London, the Croydon Lives project brought together expertise to help address the issue of crime, reduce fear of crime and improve the lived experiences of victims and their families. The purpose of the project was to conduct research into the factors leading to crime, explore the experiences of victims of crime and create user-friendly resources, co-designed with victims and their families. Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Dr Tolulope Eboka, worked closely with the organisation over a five-month period, offering specialist expertise in criminalisation, violence studies, race and social policy research.

During the project, victims of crime were interviewed and asked to reflect on their experience of police and partner agencies and the support they received following an incident. The interviews formed the basis of the analysis conducted by Tolulope. The findings were then written up. In partnership with Croydon Community Leaders, a set of recommendations was developed, to improve services and support for victims of crime.

As a result of the research, factors leading to the incidents of violent crime were determined, such as abuse, inequality and poor mental health. During the interviews, victims gave candid experiences of the Criminal Justice System. They reflected on communication issues and barriers they had faced to getting the support and help they needed. It was unique to be able to document the experiences of individuals from ethnic minorities, as information relating to these individuals is limited in the public domain due to low reporting rates. The project team's recommended improvements included a better-coordinated response from key agencies, enhanced mandatory training for those helping victims, and the development of services that offer emotional, financial, practical and social support for victims after an incident.


The findings from the participant interviews and focus groups have been used to develop an interactive guide. This will be distributed to professionals working with victims of crime and their parents and guardians, and within the community. It will be used as a point of reference for safeguarding procedures, county lines information and other support services. A directory of relevant support services has also been created to help those impacted by crime. These resources will help to improve public services and increase public participation with law enforcement, thereby reducing fear of crime and increase quality of life.

The partnership between Croydon Community Leaders and Kingston University demonstrates the importance of collaboration for SMEs, building capacity, and fostering innovation. By leveraging the knowledge exchanged through this project, the Criminal Justice System, the Croydon community, and other professionals can adopt more proactive measures in addressing crime and furthering their impact on crime reduction and community wellbeing. The findings and knowledge gained from this research will also inform better practices for public sector organisations.

Croydon Community Leaders have been able to use the project as a model to develop a new business strategy launching its newest franchise, Community Leaders Global.

Partnering in knowledge exchange activity that increases the impact of expertise and research outside of academia is important to Kingston University. The findings and knowledge shared from this research will inform University teaching and practice, and have also been submitted for publication.

Next steps

Croydon Community Leaders intends to continue working with Kingston University on franchising the Community Leaders brand to other areas of the UK, by partnering with other universities. To date, it is working with University of Roehampton and London South Bank University.