24/08/2012

21 Arrested In Operation Targetting Transport Hubs

The Metropolitan Police has arrested a total of 21 individuals, including a convicted serial sex offender wanted for another sex assault, during an operation across London targeting gang members and other criminals using London's transport routes to travel across the capital.

Operation Pegasus saw around 300 officers deployed across six London bridges and key train and bus hubs between 7pm last night and 1am this morning.

Specialist drugs dog units were based at Vauxhall, Clapham Junction and Tooting Bec mainline train stations, where special constables and safer transport teams carried out weapons screening at knife arches.

Mobile ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) units were rotated across Wandsworth, Battersea, Vauxhall, Albert, Chelsea and Lambeth bridges during the operation, and a special mobile custody suite was set up in Battersea to help speed up searches and processing. In total, 192 vehicles were stopped, and 13 vehicles seized.

Of the 21 arrests, officers arrested a convicted violent serial sex offender who was wanted in connection with another serious sexual assault carried out last month.

Other arrests included a known gang member arrested in connection with a burglary carried out in Kent who was driving a car with false plates, and another gang member wanted in connection with an actual bodily harm (ABH) offence.

Another man was arrested in possession of an offensive weapon (baseball bat) and there were also seven arrests for drugs, two for driving whilst disqualified, one for being drunk and disorderly, one for fraud, one for theft of motor vehicle, and one for handling stolen goods.

In addition, there were 21 cannabis warnings issued, and two penalty notices for disorder (PND) were issued to two individuals who previously had been issued cannabis warnings.

Detective Superintendent Eric Phelps, of the MPS, said: "We know that criminals use these key transport routes to travel to other parts of London to commit crime, so we employed a range of tactics to target, tackle and deter gang related offending. This operation aimed to deny offenders the use of the roads and other transport routes, seize any weapons or drugs being carried, as well as increase our intelligence on their activities. It is part of our continuing total war on crime."

(CD)

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