What’s the difference between a Crawley accent and a Croydon one?

CCTV footage released by police of a thief in Crawley
CCTV footage released by police of a thief in Crawley

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 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 some people said they have been told by others they have a ‘Croydon accent’ and so the phenomenon must exist.

Michelle Rushton said: “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.”