During a national operation, the Metropolitan Police Service intensified tactics and activity to target knife crime and wider violence, seizing 411 knives.
Officers from across the Met carried out a range of activity aimed at reducing violent crime in London, including weapons sweeps to recover dangerous weapons; targeted patrols in areas of violence; and search warrants to target high harm offenders.
The operation, which ran from Monday, 26 April to Sunday, 2 May, resulted in a total of:
– 411 knives recovered, including: machetes; Rambo knives; lock knives; and kitchen knives;
– 166 other weapons seized;
– 994 arrests;
– 3,227 weapon sweeps;
– Nine knife arch deployments;
– 11 Automatic Number Plate Recognition deployments;
– 74 warrants executed.
The Met also worked closely with the British Transport Police, using drug detection dogs and knife arches at transport hubs to deter people from carrying weapons and drugs on the train and Tube networks.
Targeting the drivers of violent crime, namely drug-supply, was also a focus and officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology as a way to target people carrying and supplying drugs on the roads in and out of London.
There was also an important focus on education, diversion and prevention, with 31 people being referred into intervention programmes, receiving advice and guidance. In one instance, an 18-year-old man handed in a machete at a south London police station before asking for help and support to exit that lifestyle. One of the DIVERT coaches in custody then came to help him, offering support to help him get onto the right path and have referred him into an employment development programme in south London.
Officers also carried out 195 presentations in schools, to highlight the impact and stark consequences of carrying weapons while offering further advice and support to those who wanted it; and engaged with 113 businesses, to educate them and ensure they were not selling knives irresponsibly to young people.
Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s Violence Lead, said: “The results from this operation highlight the Met’s dedication and commitment to tackling violent crime, and I’m convinced that with us seizing so many knives, we have prevented further stabbings. As we move forward into the summer months, reducing violence and saving lives will remain our top policing priority.
“The recent incidents of violence we have seen in London reminds us exactly why operations like this are so important. While this operation may have ended, be assured that our officers will continue to be out on the streets every single day, carrying out these activities and using every tactic available to them to prevent violent crime.
“My plea to everyone is to listen to the emotional stories of five brave mums whose sons were fatally stabbed. They are urging Londoners to call Crimestoppers with information about knife crime, and their tragic and heart-breaking accounts bring to life the devastation caused by this reckless violence. Make the call to Crimestoppers, anonymously, to help prevent more deaths and suffering in our capital.”
You can find out more information about these mums’ stories here.
Hard calls save lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of knife crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers.
No piece of information about knife crime is insignificant or too small. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families.
Crimestoppers never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111. It could save a life.