The Met is uniting with other police forces across the country in Operation Sceptre, intensifying action to tackle knife crime and wider violence from Monday, 26 April to Sunday, 2 May.
In London the Met will increase its operational activity throughout the week, as well as provide a crucial focus on education, diversion and prevention.
Officers will be carrying out weapons sweeps and patrols in violence hotspots, as well as targeting high harm offenders wanted for knife crime offences. Officers will also work alongside the British Transport Police to deploy knife arches and drug detection dogs to deter criminals in and around transport hubs.
There is a clear link between drugs and a high proportion of the violence we see on the streets of London, so officers will also be working with City of London Police and using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to target individuals using the road networks to peddle drugs and, in the process, exploiting vulnerable young people.
Alongside enforcement, officers will be talking with young people in schools and other youth premises, offering details of available support services, diversionary options and valuable information to highlight the life-changing consequences of carrying a knife. In addition, businesses will be approached in efforts to educate and ensure they are not selling knives irresponsibly to young people.
Londoners are also being encouraged to hand in knives at any of the 12 nominated police stations across the capital. Another option for depositing knives are the ‘Words for Weapons’ knife bins, the locations of which can be found here.
Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s Violence Lead, said:“Throughout the past year, which has seen unprecedented challenges for Londoners and the police, our priority continued to be targeting violent crime and its drivers. Now lockdown restrictions are easing, it is vital that we maintain this focus and drive.
“This operation is an intensification of the work officers are already doing on a daily basis to tackle knife crime and remove dangerous weapons from the streets, and last year we saw a 26% reduction in violent crime across London. We are absolutely determined to keep violence levels down as we approach the summer months.
“The impact of knife crime on families and communities in London is devastating, which is why we are also asking for communities to work with us or give information about knife crime, or anything they may know about violence in their area, to Crimestoppers – your anonymity is guaranteed. It might feel like a hard call, but it could save the life of someone’s son or daughter.”