Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Deputy Mayor for Policing, Kit Malthouse, joined a police operation at Vauxhall Station today to see firsthand how the Met is cracking down on knife crime in the capital
Over the half-term holidays a range of enforcement and diversionary tactics are being used to keep young people safe in the capital. The Met’s anti-knife crime team (Operation Blunt 2) is focusing on places where young people congregate, including parks and the transport network.
The Mayor and Kit Malthouse visited the Met's Central Control Complex in Lambeth, to see in person the crucial role the Air Support Unit is playing in the fight against knife crime. Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin and Superintendent David Chinchen demonstrated how the Air Support Unit's helicopters film over key hotspots such as parks and town centre hangouts. The footage is fed back live to the Central Control Complex from where officers can be quickly deployed.
Later on, joining Blunt 2 officers at work in Vauxhall Station, Boris Johnson saw for himself how screening arches are being used across the capital in the search for weapons.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“Knife crime is well below the levels it was two years ago when we launched Operation Blunt 2 to fight the terrible scourge of knives on London’s streets. A huge amount has been achieved, with more than 9,500 knives seized and 18,000 arrests in the last two years, for which the police deserve enormous praise. But we know more work is needed to keep Londoners safe. That's why we are doing all we can to tackle both the symptoms and the longer term causes of knife crime and violence amongst young people.”
Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing said:
“The vast majority of people are law-abiding – however, despite great strides in the right direction, everybody is shocked by the violence we continue to see in the capital, particularly involving young people and we will continue to tirelessly target the small minority who carry and use knives on our streets.”
Tim Godwin, Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner said:
“Blunt 2 has been ongoing for over two years and whilst it has driven down the number of weapons carried on our streets there are still too many young people carrying knives, which has already caused a number of young people to lose their lives. “I know that Londoners are fed up with knives harming their communities and we are grateful for all the local support we are getting. We will continue to target this crime through this and other operations, but changing behaviours and attitudes requires a long term approach by other agencies rather than solely relying on police enforcement operations.”
In May 2008, with the support of the Mayor, the Met launched Operation Blunt 2 to tackle the issue of knives being carried in London, often by young people. Blunt 2 officers work across each of the 32 London boroughs.
Since Operation Blunt 2 was launched in May 2008:
- More than 18,000 arrests made by Operation Blunt 2 officers
- More than 9,500 knives seized
- More than 500,000 targets searched
- More than 90 per cent of people accused of possession of a knife have been charged
- And serious violence (categorised 'most serious') has dropped by 22 per cent in current financial year to-date.
Source: ©Mayor of London