Knife Crime Initiative Launched

The Metropolitan Police Service has launched a week of activity to tackle knife crime in the Capital, following a successful campaign in the summer.

Announcing the initiative, Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, currently heading up the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: "Our summer operation had a significant impact, with more than 900 knives recovered during a period of weeks and over 270 arrests. For this reason we are running a second tranche to coincide with half term, where we will again be looking to reduce the number of knives in circulation, taking them out of the hands of those individuals intent on using them.

"We have a number of operations planned throughout the Capital, including activity to target known offenders, focussed and intelligence-led stop and search and weapon sweeps in areas where intelligence suggests offenders are hiding knives in public areas to avoid being caught in possession of them.

"In support of our operational activity we are hosting a bespoke digital campaign via our social media channels, aimed at providing advice to those who want to know where to turn if they have concerns about knife crime. It features interviews with family members of knife crime murder victims, a Safer Schools Officer educating about how to stay safe and a blog by a Family Liaison Officer."

Local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, specialist officers from the Territorial Support Group and Trident Gang Crime Command will be visible, conducting high visibility patrols on estates and in places where people are believed to be carrying knives.

Officers from Roads and Transport Policing Command will be visible at transport hubs using knife wands to catch and deter those carrying knives on public transport.

ANPR operations will be carried out in hotspot areas for knife crime, to capture people involved in knife crime who have access to motor vehicles.

Trident officers who deal with gang crime will also be supporting the activity across London to maximise all opportunities to gather evidence and detect violent crimes and offenders.

Officers will be visiting the homes of individuals who have previously been arrested for possession of a knife. They will be reminded that we know who they are and given a letter warning them that they could face a prison sentence if they carry a knife.

The types of knives being seized by officers on the streets of London are broad and varied, ranging from hunting knives and flick knives to those you would expect to find in the kitchen of any home.

As part of the Met's prevention strategy we are looking at the supply of knives to young people. During the week, officers will be working with Trading Standards enforcement and young people from the Met Police Cadets to identify retail stores that are selling knives to anyone under the age of 18.


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