Crackdown on violent crime during festive season results in 2,000 arrests.

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.”

The Havering Daily