This week marks six months since the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Violent Crime Taskforce was formed in response to violent crime and knife crime in London.
Made up of 150 specialist officers, the unit focuses solely on tackling violent crime on the streets of London, using a full range of lawfully audacious tactics to identify, target and arrest offenders. They use a mixture of covert and overt methods, specifically targeting street level offenders and those who feed criminality.
Since its formation in April, the Taskforce has seen a number of positive results including:
40 Firearms recovered
340 Knives recovered
258 Offensive weapons recovered
(Statistics from April 1 to September 21)
The Taskforce is currently operating with an additional 122 officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, (RTPC) giving it a greater presence in areas with higher levels of violent crime as well as allowing more intelligence-led, targeted stop and search and the use of covert tactics.
The unit is also supported by borough officers, the Trident and Area Crime Command and other specialist units, as well as community partners.
Operations include officer patrols in both plain clothes and uniform, in areas at highest risk of violent crime. Since its formation, the teams have executed 105 search warrants and have carried out 2659 weapon sweeps. Regular knife arches are deployed in public spaces and transport hubs, and officers have supported colleagues from RTPC in carrying out traffic operations aimed at disrupting violent activity.
Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, Violent Crime Taskforce lead, said:
“This Taskforce was formed to disrupt criminality caused by those intent on creating violence, carrying knives and putting London at risk. The teams operate across the city, working around the clock targeting hotspot locations where violence and knife crime is a real issue. Our presence in these areas sends a clear message to offenders, that we intend on stopping them in their tracks.
“Our enforcement teams play a vital role in the reduction of violence, but the work that goes into building relationships and providing reassurance to locals is just as important. Over the past six months, we’ve made significant inroads into communities where violence is a real issue, and we will continue to do so on a daily basis.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“The new Violent Crime Taskforce was set up with £15 million from City Hall and, in its first six months, its officers have made over 1,300 arrests and removed more than 600 knives and dangerous weapons off our streets.
“To bolster the vital work of the 150 officers, the Commissioner and I made the difficult decision to move 122 officers from the Roads and Transport Command to strengthen the Taskforce still further as part of our ongoing commitment to drive down knife and violent crime in London.”