Police have sparked a debate among locals after appealing for a thief with a ‘Croydon accent’ – because people can’t decide if it exists.
An appeal for information relating to a gunpoint robbery in Crawley, West Sussex, included a description of the suspect and bizarrely noted that he had a ‘Croydon accent’.
Residents of the south London borough picked up on the unusual identifying detail of the suspect, which was reported on by a local news website.
Croydon is the birthplace of supermodel Kate Moss, football pundit Ian Wright and MOBO-award-winning rapper Stormzy, who have all yet to wade in on the argument.
On a Facebook post linking to the local paper article, some people said they have been told by others they have a ‘Croydon accent’ and so the phenomenon must exist.
Michelle Rushton commented: “I’m born and bred in Croydon and actually we do have a slightly different accent.
“I’ve been abroad on three separate occasions and had other Southeners approach me and ask if I’m from Croydon.”
Louise Banks said: “There’s definitely a Croydon accent and a Streatham one and a definite Crawley one for sure.”
Several people say they have moved away from the area – but have been told by others that they have a distinctive tone to their voices.
Kelly McInerney said: “I know when I first moved to Walton on Thames from Thornton Heath people made comments about me not being from round there.”
And Karl Ellis said: “You’d be surprised how many times that people I’ve met from London to Cardiff have guessed I’m from Croydon because I apparently have an accent.
“Stranger still, some people from Croydon say I have an Addington accent.”
Jordan Dowson added: “I’m originally from Croydon, now up north and had a few people tell me I have a croydon accent so we must do?”
But others disagreed and said it wasn’t possible to have a ‘Croydon’ accent.
Manda Vale said: “Croydon accent – that’s a new one on me.”
Mancunian commenter Donnz Mainwaring said: “As a Manc living in Croydon I’m gonna tell you, there’s no Croydon accent you all sound the same.
“There’s the roadman twang, east end twang, Essex twang etc but on a whole London folk sound the same.”
By Adela Whittingham