A TikToker’s tongue-in-cheek guide to Croydon has gone viral – but not all locals are best pleased with how it portrays the South London borough.
Surrey Phil (@philc84) uploaded the guide to his TikTok, where he describes Croydon as “absolutely riddled with crime” and said he was put off making the guide because he was scared.
Throughout the course of the video, Phil makes reference to the borough’s knife crime problem and claims the region is often used as an example by American media to defend the second amendment.
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Opening the video with a shot of the high street, Phil said: “Apologies for the quality of some of the footage. I was hoping the locals wouldn’t notice me being here.
“But you have heavily been requesting Croydon in my comments for over a year and I’ve been putting it off because I was scared.”
Attaching several news reports from the US, the TikToker explained: “Croydon is basically the part of Britain that Fox News reports to you lot that the whole of Britain is like so you can keep your guns.
“And I now sympathise. Walking around here makes me yearn for our own second amendment so I can carry not just one firearm, but two, permanently drawn, rounds in the chamber, safety off, ready to defend myself.
Phil then shows a security guard in the shopping centre, accompanied by a dog, narrating: “And no, guard dogs in shopping centres are not common in Britain.”
Speaking to the camera from outside the shopping centre, Phil added: “I’ve found a quiet side street just to regroup.
“I have never put myself in harm’s way for a TikTok before until now. This is unbelievable.”
The section of the video was soundtracked by gunshot sound effects. At one point, Phil pretends to duck from a stray bullet.
The TkToker calls himself Surrey Phil
Phil goes on to speak about a new development in the area, telling viewers: “Croydon Council’s plan along with the London mayor was to build a massive tower on top of which they were going to put an all-seeing eye to deter crime going on beneath,” he says of 101 George Street.
“When Sadiq Khan approached the government to ask for funding for the actual eye he was told that they only appeared in works of fiction and now the tower has just been turned into flats.
Showing a storefront for Crystal Palace merch, Phil joked: “The shops here just scream poverty and neglect.”
He described Croydon as having “a whiff of the north about it”, on account of the bingo hall and a tram system.
“Trams are normally a good indicator of a town to avoid but here they are quiet, eco friendly and boast a 100 per cent safety record except for one incident in 2016 which resulted in multiple fatalities, injuries, and countless collisions with pedestrians. Reopen the inquest.
He went on: “There have been calls to make Croydon its own city which would be great as it would remove Croydon’s crime statistics from London’s own, which would make the capital appear a quite nice and gentle place to live.
“One problem with this though is that we would then need to form a new police force capable of managing this hell hole. Both the Jedi Council and The Avengers were approached about this but both replied saying it was too big of a job.”
Phil said the borough is often used by American news outlets to paint Britain as full of crime
Thousands of TikTok users found Phil’s video “hilarious”, with one writing: “Try bloody living there all ya life.”
However, some users took issue with Phil’s portrayal of Croydon, branding it “classist” and “disrespectful”.
“Regardless of if it’s a joke, gentrification isn’t a good thing,” one commenter wrote.
Others found Phil’s inclusion of the tram crash in a satirical video to be in poor taste, with one remarking: “Absolutely awful to try and be funny about a tram crash.”
Another said: “I’ve no idea why you’d joke about the tram crash. Seven people dead – hilarious…”
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