Officers have seized a loaded firearm and arrested four men following a routine stop in Harrow

Screenshot 2020 08 21 at 13.05.58

Officers have seized a loaded firearm and arrested four men following a routine stop in Harrow.

At about 10pm on Thursday, 20 August, Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) officers were on patrol when they saw a group of men loitering outside a shop in Rayners Lane, Harrow.

As the men were being told they were being detained for the purpose of a search, officers saw one of the men drop a blue bag, which made a ‘clunking’ noise when it hit the floor.

Officers looked inside the bag and found a loaded revolver.

The firearm was made safe and has been sent off for testing.

The four men, all aged 21, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

They have been taken to a north London police station.

The VCTF officers who carried out the stop were part of a planned armed supported patrol under Operation Viper made-up of officers from the North West Basic Command Unit (BCU), the Specialist Firearms Command, the Road and Transport Command’s Crime Team, the Dogs Unit and VCTF.

Operation Viper was launched in 2016 and carries out regular activity, such as armed supported patrols, to tackle gun crime in the capital.

Commander for the North West Basic Command Unit (BCU) Chief Superintendent Roy Smith said: “This is another example of why the use of stop and search is so crucial in allowing us to best protect the communities of London and continue bearing down on violence.

“The instincts of these officers and the subsequent use of stop and search resulted in a deadly, loaded firearm being taken off our streets. I wholeheartedly believe that this firearm would have gone on to seriously injure, or even kill, somebody.

“I am really grateful to all of the officers who came together united with one mission: to reduce violence across the capital.

“This also serves as a reminder of the dangers faced daily by the men and women of the Met – they come to work every day with an absolute commitment to fighting crime and often put their safety on the line to protect others. I, like all Londoners, am grateful and humbled by their everyday heroism.”

Enquiries continue.