More than 170 arrests have been made as part of a multi-force operation to tackle drug supply and associated violence.
The Met led the operational activity over a three day period last week to disrupt high harm offenders, helping to take drugs and weapons off the streets. Officers from Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, West Midlands, and British Transport Police worked together to deny criminals the effective use of arterial roads and rail networks as a means to carry weapons and drugs both in the capital, and into the surrounding counties.
Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and intelligence to target vehicles linked to violent criminal activity in order to reduce gang, drug and weapon based violence.
Overall, more than 1,200 officers were involved in the coordinated action across the three days, focused on arterial routes and motorways in and around London including the M25, A406, M1 and A40.
The operation, which ran between 17-19 January, resulted in:
• 179 arrests for knife, weapon, drugs, burglary, robbery, wanted offenders and other offences;
• 30 knives/weapons recovered;
• 40 drug seizures;
• 66 vehicle seizures;
• Cash seizures, amounting to a total of £5,700
The Operation was coordinated by the Met, led by officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce with support from a range of other teams, such as Met Intelligence, the Dog Support Unit, Roads and Transport Policing Command, and the National Police Air Service. These deployments were also assisted across London by the local Violence Suppression Units, Territorial Support Group, ANPR Interceptors and Met’s Special Constable volunteers
Met’s Superintendent Emma Gulczynski, responsible for the policing of the cross-force operation, said:
“This Operation was a joint effort between seven police forces, sharing proactive intelligence and enhancing existing relationship to target those involved in drug, gang and weapon based violence.
“Tackling violent crime is a priority for the Met and this operation saw officers from Birmingham, all the way to the south coast, working closely to crackdown on those using the transport networks to facilitate their criminal activity.
“While removing drugs and weapons from the streets is paramount to keeping London and the county forces safe, safeguarding vulnerable individuals on the cusp of violence is also just as important.
“Some of those arrested exploit children and vulnerable people to help further their criminality and we remain committed to working with partners to identify people at risk of exploitation, and provide them with the wrap-around support they require.”
Deployments for the operation included Central North (Camden and Islington), North Area (Enfield and Haringey) and North West (Harrow, Barnet and Brent), as well as surrounding borders with county forces. In addition, Violence Suppression Units supported the operation with proactive patrols in Croydon, Haringey, Lewisham, and Newham.
= Breakdown of arrests by force:
Metropolitan Police Service – 100 arrests
British Transport Police – 10 arrests
Surrey Police – 21 arrests
Hertfordshire Constabulary – 7 arrests
Thames Valley Police – 18 arrests
Sussex Police – 7 arrests
West Midlands Police – 16 arrests
+ If you have any information about drug crime or violence, please contact police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 – your anonymity is guaranteed. They are a completely independent charity and you remain 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Alternatively, visit their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.