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Operation Winter Nights nets over 900 arrests and takes 278 knives off the streets

News   •   Dec 29, 2017 08:00 GMT

Since the launch of Operation Winter Nights the Met has made over 900 arrests and taken over 350 weapons off the streets.

These arrests are the culmination of a two-month operation to crack-down on crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) throughout November and December.

Winter Nights coordinated everyday policing activities and operations accross all 32 boroughs. It targeted knife crime under Operation Sceptre and scooter, moped and motorbike enabled crime under Operation Venice. It also included dealing with criminal activity at winter markets.

A variety of tactics were used during the operation which included over 1,300 weapon sweeps; forensic tagging sprays to tackle offenders on scooters and saw an increase in visible police officers and neighbourhoods policing.

Officers recovered a total of 278 knives, 61 offensive weapons and 20 firearms.

The arrests made included 334 arrests following stop and search and 106 arrests for offensive weapon and for knife possession offences.

As part of the activity test purchase operations were carried out by Volunteer Police Cadets alongside local Trading Standards officers across London.

Proactive operations to target repeat knife crime offenders were also carried out, aimed at tackling those wanted in connection with knife-related offences and violent crime.

Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger, the Met's operational lead for Winter Nights, said: "This operation has seen all 32 boroughs working together to enable the Met to intensify its work to keep the public safe and make the streets and roads hostile territory for criminals.

"The coordinated and intelligence-led policing approach gave officers the opportunity to proactively and reactively deal with any emerging issues. This included daily patrols in cars and on motorcycles and bicycles, Automatic Number Plate Reader deployments, detectives conducting specialised investigations and operations, intelligence led action on individuals, and DNA capture.

"We are building upon the good practices established during the Winter Nights operation to help us to continue targeting criminal activity and protecting the communities of London."

If the public see any suspicious activity of have any information about who is committing these crimes please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.