11 May Nearly 1,000 arrested and 400 knives seized in police crackdown on violent crime in London | UK News
Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested and more than 400 knives seized in an effort to reduce violent crime in London, police have said.
Between 26 April and 2 May, as part of Operation Sceptre, Metropolitan Police officers working across the country recovered 411 knives and 166 other weapons using weapons sweeps and targeted patrols – and made 994 arrests.
The Met worked with British Transport Police to use drug detection dogs and knife arches to deter people from carrying weapons and drugs on the overground and Tube networks.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology was deployed to target people carrying and supplying drugs on the roads in and out of London.
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.”
London recorded the highest rate of knife crime in the country in 2019-20, with 179 offences involving a knife per 100,000 people, according to a House of Commons briefing paper published in October.
That was a slight increase on a rate of 169 per 100,000 in 2018-19.
2020 was also the sixth year in a row that at least 100 people were killed in the capital in all – and there have already been several incidents in 2021.
In one of the most recent cases, Fares Maatou, 14, was stabbed to death in east London last month.
Police recorded 683 homicides in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester Police) in the year ending March 2020, a 10% increase compared with the previous year (623), the Office For National Statistics (ONS) said.
Almost two-fifths (39%) of all recorded homicides involved a knife or sharp instrument, slightly less than 41% the previous year.
More than 46,000 offences involving knives or sharp instruments were recorded by police in the year ending March 2020, the ONS said.