Police make over 900 arrests and seize 290 knives in weapons crackdown

It comes as a teenage boy was stabbed to death in Hounslow in what has become the worst year in more than a decade for teen murders.

More than 900 arrests and close to 300 blades have been seized in a police clampdown on knife crime.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has joined forces nationwide in taking action to tackle knife attacks and violence.

Sign up to our LondonWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Known as Operation Sceptre, officers have ramped up efforts, including targeted patrols in violence hotspots.

Superintendent Jim Corbett, from the Met, said: “Knife crime completely destroys victims, families and communities, which is why tackling it is our top priority.

“Sceptre is an intensification of the work we already do relentlessly every single day.”

Warrants to target offenders and weapons sweeps in areas known for stashed weapons were also carried out.

Cops have also worked closely with the British Transport Police to deter people from carrying weapons and drugs on the train and tube network.

And number plate recognition cameras have been used by officers, targeting drugs on the roads in and out of the capital.

Officers engaged with 10,563 young people; community members and business owners in an effort to prevent crime and violence from occurring.

A mother who lost her son to knife crime and an ex-offender spoke to students at a pupil referral unit to warn of the consequences of carrying a knife.

The operation, which ran from Monday, 15 November to Sunday, 21 November 2021, saw:

  • 290 knives recovered;
  • 937 arrests;
  • 82 warrants executed;
  • 186 community meetings and educational events, engaging with 1,206 individuals;
  • 264 school presentations and engagements, involving 8,063 young people;
  • 2,745 weapon sweeps.

Supt Corbett added: “Officers will continue doing everything they can to target those intent on committing violent crime on our streets, to make London safer.

“Suppressing violence needs a holistic approach to deliver long-lasting solutions. I am grateful to all those who worked alongside us and joined our efforts.

“We must all work together – the responsibility lies with us all to create safe communities.”

A Met spokesperson said data showed a reduction in serious violent crimes.

They said in October 2021, compared to the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, has seen homicides fall by 7% and knife crime drop by 32% with 4,105 fewer offences.