Officers from across the Met increased their activity to clamp down on violence as part of the ‘Winter Nights’ operation.
The five-week operation, which ran between 1 December and 9 January, resulted in:
111 knives removed from the streets;
66 other offensive weapons seized;
14 firearms recovered;
402 other illegal items, such as drugs, seized;
3,041 engagements, including community meetings and events with young people, where officers listened to local concerns and gave crime prevention advice;
385 licensing visits, to ensure these premises are a safe environment, helping to reduce night time economy crime;
2,048 arrests for various violence-related offences, including sexual offences.
These results were achieved by officers deploying to hotspot locations to tackle violence and robbery in the run up to Christmas. Officers flooded specific areas based on intelligence, and carried out proactive operations to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place.
There was a strong focus on tackling violence against women and girls and preventing predatory offending. High-visibility patrols were carried out to reassure local communities and protect the public, and officers worked alongside the newly-formed Town Centre Teams to target alcohol-related crime within the night time economy.
Officers also cracked down on high harm offenders, carrying out 95 arrest warrants, as well as conducting numerous weapon sweeps to find hidden or discarded weapons.
Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s violence lead, said: “The festive season can bring unique challenges to policing, however our top priority continues to be suppressing violence; stopping people getting hurt; and saving lives.
“Winter Nights was an extension of our ongoing activity, and last year we saw positive reductions across violent crime categories, including a 32 per cent decrease in knife crime*. We are absolutely determined to maintain that downward trend as we head into 2022.
“To help us achieve this, it is crucial that Londoners tell us, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, about any information they have about violent crime. We must all work together to stop violence and the devastation it causes to families and wider communities.”
*Last year, January to December 2021 (Calendar Year), compared to the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, saw:
Homicides decrease by 13% (19 fewer victims)
Knife crime decrease by 32% (4,914 fewer offences)
Knife crime with injury decrease by 20% (790 fewer victims)
Knife Injury (victims under 25 and non-DA) decrease by 27% (456 fewer victims)
Personal robbery decrease by 44% (16,170 fewer victims)
Personal robbery knife injury decrease by 34% (186 fewer victims)
Gun crime decrease by 35% (741 fewer offences)
Lethal barrel discharges decrease by 21% (58 fewer offences)
Despite these reductions, we know there is more to do. Our determination to tackle these crimes remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available, to serve and protect our communities.
If you have any information about knife crime, please contact police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 – your anonymity is guaranteed. They are a totally independent charity and you remain 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or device you use. Alternatively, visit their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.
No detail you might have is too small – every bit of information helps towards the fight against violence in London. It can feel like a hard call, but it could save a life. If you are worried about someone you suspect may be carrying a knife or other weapon, advice and support is also available through organisations including Knife Free https://www.knifefree.co.uk/ge… Fearless: https://www.fearless.org/en