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Met bears down on violence as part of annual Autumn Nights campaign

News   •   Oct 21, 2020 07:00 BST

Officers will target the most dangerous offenders as part of the campaign

The Met’s annual campaign to shut down anti-social behaviour and associated criminality, Autumn Nights, has begun. This year’s operation will focus on tackling the Met’s top priority – violence.

Violence and anti-social behaviour tend to increase at this time of year when the nights draw in earlier. A range of operational activity is planned over the three-week period to intensify existing efforts within the Met to prevent and bear down on violence in all its forms.

Officers will target the most dangerous offenders, maximise diversion opportunities and increase their presence through targeted patrols in areas expected to be affected by violence and anti-social behaviour. A number of intelligence-led automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operations will also catch and arrest violent offenders on the move around the capital. This is supported by proactive work of our Violence Suppression Units, and Violent Crime Taskforce.

Robbery offences are also a significant contributor to knife crime and violence, and we continue to work hard to strengthen our response across London. For tips and advice to protect yourself from personal robbery, visit our webpage:

Our 12 Basic Command Units and Youth Engagement Officers will work with partners to engage with their communities and speak to vulnerable residents to offer them crime prevention advice. Our licensing teams will work with premises to reduce rowdy and disorderly behaviour. Community Safety Teams will carry out diversion work to help steer those at risk of offending away from crime.

If you’ve witnessed antisocial behaviour of any kind, report it using our quick and simple online tool:

With Covid-19 restrictions in place, community events for Halloween and Bonfire Night unfortunately will not take place. We continue to ask the public to follow the current government guidelines in relation to gatherings.

Additional patrols across London will see officers engage with the public and, where necessary, take enforcement action against those who fail to abide by government restrictions.

Commander Jane Connors said: “This year has been challenging for the public and we are maximising on our priority of tackling violent crime during our annual Autumn Nights campaign.

”A cadre of officers from across the Met have planned various elements to prevent violence and anti-social behaviour; divert individuals away from becoming involved in such crimes; engage with our communities and carry out enforcement on the most dangerous offenders.

“For some time now, our top priority has been to decrease violence and this remains the case. We are working around the clock to target those causing the most harm to our communities.

“We believe it is important to do our bit to divert people at risk of making the wrong choices and going down the wrong path in life. A huge aspect of this seasonal activity will complement existing work to divert and support individuals away from criminality.

“We hope our communities can find alternative ways to enjoy the autumn festivities. We must remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we will continue to step in where necessary.”

The annual Autumn Nights campaign runs from Monday, 19 October until Sunday, 8 November.

Communities have a vital role to play in tackling violent crime and we urge anyone who may have information to tell us, so that we can tackle violence together. We need information about crime or those who carry a weapon, or those that exploit people for gain or revenge, while putting young people’s lives at risk. Community intelligence can be used to great effect to not only detect, but also prevent crime, keep London safe and save young lives.

For those not comfortable in speaking to the police, Crimestoppers is a totally, independent charity. They do not ask your name or trace your call. Anyone worried that a family member or friend might be involved in criminality, or vulnerable to people who may be violent, can visit KnifeFree or the NSPCC websites for help and advice. You might be able to help them find a way out.