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Tackling violence in London

News   •   Jan 10, 2020 12:00 GMT

More than 2,000 arrests made over a Christmas in crackdown on violence.

Tackling violence in London continues to be a priority for the Met and as such, operational plans were in place to increase policing activity over the festive period. 

Operation Winter Nights was carried out between 2 December 2019 and Sunday, 5 January and focussed on keeping people across London safe over Christmas, particularly at festive events.

Both highly visible and covert police officers, as well as knife arches, were deployed at busy locations and events across London. Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology (ANPR) was also used, with the aim of deterring criminals and identifying those who were there to spoil the festive fun.

The operation was supported by specialist units from across the Met including the Violent Crime Taskforce, Specialist Firearms Command, Roads and Transport Policing Command, Trident, Dogs Unit and the Mounted Branch, as well as working closely with colleagues from City of London Police and British Transport Police.

Additionally, in response to a spate of violence across certain boroughs towards the end of the year (2019), all boroughs across London stepped up operational activity to target high-harm criminals for violence-related offences and outstanding suspects. 

Officers focussed on intelligence-based stop and searches, weapon sweeps in hotspot locations, patrols, and engagement with partner agencies in support of local violence reduction plans.

Including both the Winter Nights operation, and the increased borough operational activity, there were a total of:

- 2,190 arrests
- 292 knives recovered
- 132 other offensive weapons recovered 
- 1,258 other recoveries, for example drugs
- 3,595 weapons sweeps.

Commander Jane Connors, said: “Our officers worked tirelessly to ensure the public could, rightly so, enjoy their celebrations safely, as Christmas is such a special time of the year to many people.

“However, the Met is not complacent and we will continue our efforts to identify and pursue offenders, help bring perpetrators to justice, take weapons off the street and keep our communities safe moving forward into the New Year.” 

If you have information about someone you suspect to be involved in criminal activity and you do not want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website. It is 100 per cent anonymous. They never ask your name and cannot trace your call or the device you use. 

Young people can also contact the charity Fearless via their website: They are also independent from police. They offer advice on where to get support, and let you pass on information about crime 100 per cent anonymously. Again, they will never record or trace your call or IP address or the device you use.