Police Fight Back Against Knife Crime With Weapon Sweeps
24 April 2019, 13:36 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 15:13
With a wave of knife crime sweeping London police have taken to social media to show the deadly weapons found hidden on London's streets.
Stabbing deaths rose to 285 in 2017-18, the highest ever recorded in the UK, with police and MPs under increasing pressure to resolve the problem.
The Met's answer was the Violent Crime Task Force. From 1st April 2018 to 17th April 2019, the VCTF seized 809 knives, 571 offensive weapons and made 4,224 arrests for weapons, violence and drug-related offences .
The task force also carried out 7556 weapons sweeps in public parks and open spaces looking for weapons and drugs.
A Met spokesperson said that the London force took an organisational-wide approach, seeing officers from different teams working together "not only to detect, but also to prevent violent crime in both the short and long term."
On a national level Operation Sceptre is part of a police initiative across the country to get weapons off the streets. The Operation sees police and community groups conducting 'weapons sweeps' of areas where the risk of knife crime is high.
Officers from #TSG #U34 were out last night, assisting @MPSBrent with reassurance patrols after a number of incidents.— MetTaskforce (@MetTaskforce) April 24, 2019
9 arrests made, including 3 for possession of these items - within 100 yards of the scene of a recent stabbing.#StopAndSearch #knifecrime #ViolentCrime pic.twitter.com/RaLpgRefON
Police have encouraged whole communities to get involved in weapons sweeps.
Thanks to a helpful resident, this awful knife was found hidden in a local park, would have been great to catch the owner but at least its off the street. We do appreciate the information we recieve, it really helps. #StopKnifeCrime #Opsceptre pic.twitter.com/HaYhNNfDh0— Cavendish XH Police (@MPSCavendishXH) April 17, 2019
Police have also been working with schools and transport hubs to conduct random metal detector operations, which see teams of officers descending on an area and screening large numbers of people.
Brent Police seized a 5inch weapon earlier this year and shared the disturbing find on Twitter.
They said in a statement: “#NWERPTD have arrested a 14 year old Male in possession of a meat cleaver after he tried to slash another pupils face after a dispute in school.”
The weapon was seized as part of Operation Sceptre, an effort to crack down on the UK’s growing knife crime epidemic.