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Keeping London safe over summer

News   •   Jul 26, 2019 06:00 BST

As schools across London break up for the summer holidays and the Capital attracts more visitors, the Met along with key partners will be carrying out pro-active operations and engagement activity to ensure the public can safely enjoy everything this city has to offer. 

A large proportion of this work will focus on engagement with young people through diversionary activities and skills development opportunities to help keep them safe over summer.

Teams across the Met including the Violent Crime Taskforce, Roads and Transport and local Safer Neighbourhoods teams, will be working alongside colleagues from City of London Police and British Transport Police to keep busy public spaces and summer events and festivals safe.

Both plain clothed and uniformed officers will be patrolling in hotspot locations, with a focus on the disruption of violence and knife crime. Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations will be deployed and other intelligence-led activities, as well as weapon sweeps and knife arches. Routine stop and search patrols will also continue across London.

The Met will be working with stakeholders to engage with young people and local communities.

Officers, along with the Met’s custody intervention programme (Divert) are taking part in the Premier League ‘Kicks’ scheme, which coordinates joint diversionary activities to deter young people away from violent crime through sport.

Safer Schools Officers (SSOs) and Youth Engagement Officers (YEOs) will support communities by patrolling areas that present a high risk of serious youth violence, as well as town centres, key transport hubs and community events. SSOs and YEOs will also support events for young people across London, such as local football, boxing and rock climbing sessions and initiatives like the Duke of Edinburgh’s award and National Citizen Service ‘The Challenge’.

The Mayor of London’s website hosts a calendar of events and activities for primary and secondary school ages to get involved with in every borough across London, from sports and performing arts to volunteering opportunities and work experience. Parents and young people are encouraged to visit: www.london.gov.uk/our-london

Ongoing pro-active operations across London to tackle drug dealing, gang crime and related violence will also continue over the summer. Operation Perseus, launched as a direct response to local concerns about drug dealers causing upset in communities across south east London, has already seen significant results including 25 arrests, and more than £45k in cash, a large quantity of Class A and B drugs and a number of dangerous weapons seized.

Commander Dave Musker, Frontline Policing, said: “We want to welcome visitors to the Capital during the holidays and reassure people that London is a safe place to enjoy the many summer events and festivals taking place.

“This is a particularly busy time of year for the Met and our top priority is to keep the public safe and stop anyone intent on causing criminality. We will deal robustly with those who do cause disruption and who pose a threat to the safety of others.

“You can help us out by remembering to stay vigilant when attending events or moving through busy public spaces. Look after your belongings, look out for those around you and speak to police if you see anything suspicious.

“I am looking forward to seeing some positive results from this co-ordinated effort to keep people safe and tackle violence with our partners and colleagues both within and external to the organisation.”

Working closely with British Transport Police, much of our operational activity will involve transport hubs and helping to keep people safe as they travel though London.

Chief Inspector Richard Mitchell, from British Transport Police, said: “With a number of large events criss-crossing the City this summer, we’re gearing up for a particularly busy period which will see millions descend on the Capital.

“Very fortunately the Tube, tram and train network in London is a safe, low crime environment. Nevertheless, we’ll be working closely with Transport for London and our blue light partners to prevent crime and ensure that commuters and tourists feel safe and reassured. Likewise, we’ll be deploying both plain clothed and unformed officers to the rail network to deter criminality. Remember, if you see anything which concerns you whilst travelling on the transport network, report it to us by discreetly sending a text to 61016.”

The public have a huge part to play when it comes to preventing crime and protecting London’s communities. You can give information about crime that has been committed or, potentially save a life, by providing information about someone involved in violence, criminal gangs or who may be carrying a weapon.

If you do not want to speak to police, please contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org. They are 100% anonymous, do not record personal information and never trace your call or IP address.

If you are worried about your child or family and want help to take steps to keep them or yourself safe, you can get help and advice from the following places:

#KnifeFree – provides help and support to young people who want to live knife free. www.knifefree.co.uk

Childline – counsellors can support young people 24 hours a day, you can call them on 0800 1111 or visit: www.childline.org.uk/

The Prince’s Trust – provides support and opportunities for young people. www.princes-trust.org.uk/

London Needs You Alive – This Mayoral-led initiative provides help and support to young people and their families: www.london.gov.uk/content/london-needs-you