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​Met’s Autumn Nights campaign results in waves of positive action

News   •   Nov 10, 2020 06:30 GMT

The Metropolitan Police Service’s annual Autumn Nights campaign to tackle violence and associated criminality has led to the removal of hundreds of weapons and drugs, as well as diverting people to intervention programmes.

The three-week surge of activity aimed to prevent and bear down on violence in all its forms by utilising a range of tactics. These included engagement and diversion work with those on the cusp of turning to violence in a bid to steer them down a different path. 

Officers also targeted the most dangerous offenders, classified as ‘high harm’ as either they are wanted in connection with violent offences, such as robbery and grievous bodily harm, or they are known to have a violent background. In addition, efforts were taken to maximise diversion opportunities, along with an increased presence through targeted patrols in areas affected by violence and anti-social behaviour. 

Commander Jane Connors, said: “Violence and anti-social behaviour tend to increase at this time of year when the nights draw in earlier, and we’ve had plans in place to ensure we disrupted criminality and stopped offenders in their tracks.

“It’s not just about enforcement however, it is important that we do what we can with our partners to help and engage with those who really need it and build trust in our communities. Where possible we have referred individuals to DIVERT, a programme to break the cycle and work with people to turn their lives around. 

“We’ve focussed on engaging with communities and equipped them with the advice and tools they need to help prevent harm in their area.

“Our number one priority is to keep communities safe and tackle violent crime. There has been a real visible present across London and we will keep up this momentum.”

The operation resulted in:

- 17 DIVERT referrals: An intervention programme aimed to reduce re-offending;
- 1,200 arrests;
- 1,384 weapon sweeps;
- 258 weapons seized;
- 591 other illegal items (including drugs) recovered.

Robbery call-outs reduced by 27 per cent in October (compared with the same period in 2019). 

Officers were deployed to hotspot areas to look out for, and disrupt, those intent on causing harm for their personal gain.

A number of intelligence-led automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operations played their part in disrupting and arresting offenders on the move around the capital, including Operation Aldrin. This was supported by proactive work by our BCU officers, Roads and Transport Policing Command’s Road Crime Team, Violence Suppression Units, and Violent Crime Taskforce.

An abundance of engagement work between officers and their communities also took place. Local officers delivered talks to primary and secondary schools focussing on anti-social behaviour and providing pupils with crime prevention techniques. Schools officers delivered stop and search workshops in youth clubs. Officers also carried out visits to businesses and shops to build relationships and offer crime deterrence advice.

Specialist officers working to prevent the exploitation of children and young people educated hotels and licenced premises on the signs to spot in identifying exploitation under an initiative called Operation Makesafe. For more information please visit our website