The Met has launched its biggest ever charity event to ensure that thousands of children in care across the capital receive a special Christmas present this year.
Met Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was joined by special guests, singer and X-Factor star, Fleur East and Violet Sellers from Camden to get the appeal underway by lighting up the Christmas tree lights outside Hyde Park police station.
Violet, aged 9, was this year winner of the Met's Christmas Tree Campaign poster design competition. She designed a cheerful snowman wearing a police hat with the slogan: Every child deserves a gift!
Her design was chosen from over 4,000 poster designs from children across the capital.
The Met's 'Christmas Tree Project' is spreading its cheer across London, with trees being lit up by officers outside police stations and in other public places in all of London's 32 boroughs to ensure more children in need have a present delivered to them in time for Christmas Day.
How you can give a gift:
Londoners are encouraged to get behind the campaign and give a gift by taking a tagged ribbon from a tree on your borough or at Hyde Park police station, and following the instructions on the tag.
You can also visit the online virtual Met Christmas tree at http://www.met.police.uk/christmastree
In addition this year, members of the public can also donate money if they are unable to buy a gift by visiting the Just Giving webpage at:
Last year's event resulted in 11,360 gifts given to children across London. The Commissioner was inspired to launch the appeal in London in 2012 after seeing a similar concept in Sheffield 30 years ago.
The lights were turned on at 17:15hrs yesterday outside the Hyde Park police station - the tree's temporary home before the opening of the Met's new HQ on Victoria Embankment in the New Year.
Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "Christmas is a time for giving and who more worthy of receiving that generosity, then children in care who can find this season difficult.
"We are grateful to all those who took part in last year's campaign to spread some Christmas cheer and we hope to do the same this year."
Fleur East said: "I am so pleased to be supporting and joining Commissioner Hogan-Howe's Metropolitan Police Christmas Tree project this year. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to give something back to local looked after children, I urge everyone to get involved, pledge a gift and make a difference to a child this Christmas."
The gifts will be for children aged from one week to 17 years and benefit those in care across all London boroughs. The children are currently being cared for by foster parents or are in residential care homes.
The suggested spend for gifts this year is no more than £20.
All gifts will be delivered to the children at their care homes before Christmas Day.