This week the Met Police are targeting fire arms and high harm offenders across all of the boroughs in London. Officers across the capital have launched an upsurge in their activity to tackle violent crimes across our streets.
Leading the week’s activities is Detective Superintendent Nick Blackburn with a team of officers who will be undertaking weapon sweeps, search warrants linked to gun crime, alongside overt and covert patrols.
Det Supt Blackburn told the Havering Daily:
“This week the public will see enhanced patrols right across the capital with many search warrant arrests taking place and high visibility patrols and weapon sweeps. These are all designed to make London a hostile place for anyone wishing to use or deal in guns.”
It was just last week that a man was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for carrying two Skorpion machine guns in his backpack.
Mr Blackburn tells us: “These types of firearms are incredibly rare and can cause devastating affects on our community. They fire 10 rounds per second, potential injury is huge. It shows us how are intelligence is in the right place.”
Other activity during the week will be enhanced by covert and overt patrols led by the Met’s Operation Viper team, supported by specialist firearms and Taskforce officers. There will also be an intensification of efforts to locate wanted suspects.
The Operation Viper patrols will be in response to any shootings, or in response to information, intelligence or tensions arising during the week. The team help contribute significantly to the firearms seized by Met officers.
Mr Blackburn continues:
“The first lockdown was problematic for criminals wishing to buy guns, it all became much harder. However, after lock down ended, 248 lethal weapons were seized, 60% of all firearms seized in Britain. This goes to show that we are targeting the right people and are in the right space for recovering weapons.
“Suppression activity across London is working, alongside high visibility patrols and our relentless pursuit of offenders through search warrants.”
Imitation firearms are also an issue for our communities with the key and most important issue being the fact that officers have no way of knowing if that weapon is real or not.
Det Supt Blackburn continued:
“MO19 our firearms unit will treat that firearm as real so the suspect’s chances of being shot are high as we have no way of knowing if it is real or not.”
Imitation firearms are so realistic and specifically made that way that when one is pointed at you, your chances of being able to identify it as a fake are pretty much none. These officers face extremely difficult situations where they have to make life or death decisions and the welfare of innocent people is what they always put first. Their jobs are extremely stressful and the work they do in our community is vital and let’s face it they do a fantastic job day in and day out protecting the public from harm.
Many of these firearms are now being linked to gang culture with organised crime working hand in hand with gangs.
Mr Blackburn continues:
“There is an inextricable link between organised crime and street gangs, the two feed into each other with gang nominals working with violent individuals.”
Our police officers do a phenomenal amount of work that the majority of the public do not even know about but they do need our help in coming forward when we know of someone who is dealing in gun crime.
If you do have any knowledge of anyone dealing in firearms and you want to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Let’s take the time now to thank our officers who are on the front line dealing with horror weapons such as the Skorpion sub machine, ultimately it is them who have to face weapons such as they these and not only do they face them head on but they also remove them so they are off our streets.