The Predatory Offender Units (POU) was launched in November last year and have since arrested more than 2,150 ‘high harm’ offenders. These include 1,312 arrests for domestic abuse offences, 378 for sex offences and 115 for child abuse offences.
Additionally, they have obtained 154 Judicial Restrictions and executed 175 search warrants.
Each Basic Command Unit (BCU) has a team determined to bring violent perpetrators to justice. They use a range of tactics and work closely with other forces and enforcement agencies to develop intelligence, even if they are outside of London.
The 12 teams consist of around 90 highly trained officers who work alongside the Met’s Public Protection teams and together they focus on bringing some of the highest offenders in our capital to justice. These individuals inflict serious and often hidden harm on their victims.
A female survivor of domestic abuse, from east London, said: “On what was the hardest day of my life, the support the police gave me and the trust I was able to put in them gave me the strength to push forward with the case and achieve the best possible outcome from a horrible situation.”
Examples of the POU detection achievements from across London include:
Two men who committed atrocious crimes including attempted sexual assault, grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary were arrested and charged and POU officers worked tirelessly to locate the offenders through phone intelligence, CCTV analysis and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) detection.
Both men have been remanded and await trial.
In north London, a serial domestic abuse perpetrator with multiple victims was traced and arrested. This arrest was only possible through the persistent and dedicated approach adopted by the POU officers supported by partners from Communication Intelligence Unit (CIU) and Public Protections arrest team.
A single POU officer conducted recces at hotels to trace an outstanding nominal who was wanted for several months for violent breaches of his non-molestation order. He was located by the officer and later charged and remanded in custody.
Commander Melanie Dales, the Met’s lead for Public Protection, said: “Tackling violent offences continues to be the Met’s priority. These offenders often inflict horrendous crimes on their victims, they can include anything from domestic and child abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been very much aware of the risks the restrictions and lack of contact with others could pose especially in a domestic setting.
“The implementation of these teams has enhanced our ability to prevent and disrupt offending and we will ensure this work continues with intensity.
“I would urge anyone who may be at risk of becoming a victim, or has concerns about a family member, friend or colleague to contact us.”
The Met has continued enhancing its response and support to victims of domestic abuse across London. In collaboration with SafeLives charity, more than 3,000 frontline officers have now received Domestic Abuse Matters training since its launch last month. This training will help to ensure officers can identify and gather evidence of coercive controlling behaviour, recognise perpetrator tactics and understand the dynamics of domestic abuse.
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “From supporting victims to bringing perpetrators to justice, the Mayor and I are determined to do everything we can to ensure that victims get the support they need and that dangerous offenders are dealt with.
“The Met’s Predatory Offender Units have seen strong results by bearing down on offenders of domestic abuse, working to protect survivors and bringing perpetrators to justice. The Met has continued to make responding to domestic abuse a priority throughout the pandemic and I want to send a clear message to anyone feeling threatened or unsafe: please come forward and report it, you will be listened to and you can have the confidence that the crime will be investigated.”
A bespoke online reporting system was also launched for domestic abuse. To date, we have received 375 domestic abuse online reports since going live at the end of June.