The work of the Violent Crime Taskforce will continue to be bolstered with officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command following a decision to extend the duration of time the 122 additional officers will remain with the unit.
The RTPC officers joined the Taskforce from September 2018, enabling the team to have a greater presence in areas with higher levels of violent crime as well as allowing more intelligence-led, targeted stop and search and the use of covert tactics.
Since their attachment in September, they have contributed to a 31% (176) reduction in victims of knife crime with injury (under 25s) compared to September, October and November the previous year.This is part of a 12 month trend which has seen an overall 13% decrease (287 less victims).
Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “The deployment of some of our Roads and Transport Command officers to the Taskforce has been hugely beneficial in tackling and reducing knife and violent crime in London. Their results speak for themselves as to the impact they have been having – with more than 1,700 stop and searches and over 160 arrests for offensive weapons, knives and drugs. They have also been responsible for over 120 other arrests connected to violent crime and seized a multitude of knives, firearms and other weapons.
“We are making positive in-roads but we aren’t prepared to alter our operational focus until levels of violence in London have reduced further. The current work of the RTPC officers within the Taskforce is an important part of our tactics.”
The taskforce launched with 150 officers in April using £15 million of funding from the Mayor of London. A decision was made by the Commissioner and the Mayor in September to temporarily move 122 officers from The Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command to bolster the taskforce to 272 to boost the fight against serious violent crime in London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: The work of the Violent Crime Taskforce has been crucial in making more than 2,000 arrests and taking hundreds of knives and dangerous weapons off our streets. It’s clear there is still a lot more work to be done and that is why I am supporting the decision to keep officers from the Roads and Traffic Command with the VCTF for longer.
“These decisions are not taken lightly but the Commissioner and I are determined to do everything we can to drive down the unacceptable levels of violence in our city. We are not going to be able to arrest our way out of this issue and that is why I am leading a long-term public health approach to tackling serious violence, together with investment to provide positive opportunities for thousands of young people across the capital.”