During a national operation, the Met intensified tactics and activity to target knife crime and wider violence, making 468 arrests, with 170 knives taken off the streets in just one week.

Officers from across the Met carried out a range of operational activity for Operation Sceptre, including increased proactive patrols in violence hotspots; executing warrants at addresses; and sweeps in areas known for hiding knives and weapons.

In one instance, local officers were joined by British Transport Police (BTP) colleagues, a father who lost his son to knife crime, and a local community activist, on a proactive operation tackling knife crime on the transport network in Croydon, before conducting a weapons sweep in the area.

Other activity conducted with BTP included joint operations where knife arches were deployed at transport hubs to deter people from carrying weapons and drugs on train and tube services. Met’s Police Cadets also assisted officers on Op Sceptre activity through test purchase operations by visiting businesses to educate them and ensure they were not – and do not in the future – sell knives irresponsibly.

We know that early intervention and a holistic partnership approach to tackling knife crime is key to driving down violence. To complement the enforcement activity, Op Sceptre intensification week saw officers focus on education, diversion and prevention activity. Officers engaged with young people and community members through school visits and community meetings.
One piece of activity saw officers from the East Area engage with young people and the wider community at Seven Kings Skate Park where they highlighted the dangers of knife crime.

In total the operation, which ran from Monday, 15 May to Sunday, 21 May, resulted in:

170 knives recovered;
468 arrests;
22 warrants;
177 community meetings and educational events, engaging with 1,627 individuals;
212 school presentations and engagements, involving 6,712 young people;
194 retailer visits;
1,195 weapon sweeps.

Chief Inspector Rob Ranstead, who led Op Sceptre for the Met, said:

“Knife crime completely destroys families and brings misery to our communities. The results from this operation highlight the Met’s commitment to tackling violent crime and I’m convinced that with 170 knives taken off London’s streets, we have prevented further injuries – and perhaps even fatal stabbings – from occurring.

“Operation Sceptre is an intensification of the work officers carry out every single day and although this week of activity has concluded, be assured that our officers will continue to be out on the streets every day, using every tactic available to prevent violence.

“Policing alone can’t solve knife crime or violence and I am grateful to our partners and community members that worked closely alongside us during this week of enhanced activity, as they do on any given day, to make London safer for everyone. We must all work together – the responsibility lies with us all to bear down on knife crime and violence.”

+ We all have a part to play in tackling violent crime. It can be as simple as giving information about an incident or those who carry a weapon. Any information you give to the independent charity Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111 – 100% anonymously. It could save a life.

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