Stop and search leads to 437 weapons off the streets in just one month

5 March 2021, 14:18

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

With more police officers on the streets as lockdown eases a senior officer explains to LBC how stop and search took dangerous weapons off the streets.

As London's police force seeks to reassure the public that they can expect to see more officers on the streets in weeks to come, LBC spoke to one senior officer.

The Met is seeking to step up its response to violent crime as it prepares to deal with any incidents across the capital as lockdown eases.

The force said the surge started on Sunday, 14 February following a spate of stabbings in the capital and has so far seen deployments in south and north London.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors spoke to LBC's Nick Ferrari about the plans.

The DAC explained that the point of the force being able to do 'surge' is "to get into the areas where we've seen an increase in violence, beyond the front foot, and make sure we're able to tackle it."

Nick asked the DAC if the Covid pandemic had "changed the aspect of violence and policing against it on the streets?"

DAC Connors explained the pandemic has meant the majority of Londoners stayed inside and complied with the restrictions.

But she warned that meant "others have been out and about committing violence," she revealed the force is "prepared and ready to be able to deal with any easing of lockdown restrictions."

On the subject of stop and search, Nick asked the top cop what sort of weapons her colleagues were seizing and the answer was staggering.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Connors revealed in January alone officers using the tactic had taken 437 weapons off the streets of the capital.

But it's not just knives, the officer said the force also discovered around 10 firearms during stop and search operations too.

A Met Police spokesperson said the surge is a joint operation involving proactive activity by Violence Suppression Units, the Violent Crime Taskforce, Dogs Support Unit, Territorial Support Group, Armed Response Vehicles, Specialist Firearms Command and the Roads and Transport Policing Command.

Anyone who doesn't want to speak to the police can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They are a totally independent charity and callers remain 100 per cent anonymous - they never ask for a name and they cannot trace a call, an IP address or the device being used. Information can also be given on the Crimestoppers website.