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Officers searching a seized vehicle as part of Operation Pandilla
Officers searching a seized vehicle as part of Operation Pandilla

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More than 80 arrests in three-day operation to tackle violence

More than 80 arrests have been made as part of a three-day operation to tackle violence.

The Met teamed together with four other police forces to crack down on criminals involved in the supply of drugs on London's roads and rail network.

The activity, named Operation Pandilla, involved officers from Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Surrey, British Transport and the Met. The five police forces shared intelligence to target high harm offenders.

Criminals often operate on and across the borders of police areas to avoid detection, travelling by rail and road utilising high performance, often stolen vehicles. Some of the vehicles are on false plates, crossing multiple police areas in quick succession.

Officers worked in hotspots in the North, East and West of the capital to disrupt the criminals. Teams used a number of tactics, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and targeted vehicle stops.

The operation, which ran between 26 to 28 April, resulted in (MPS results only):

  • 85 arrests for knife, weapons, and drugs offences;
  • 28 knives/weapons recovered;
  • 40 drug seizures;
  • 57 vehicles seized;
  • 337 stop and searches.

Chief Inspector Rob Ranstead, who led the operation for the Met, said: “Organised crime, including county lines drug supply and criminals committing burglaries and robberies, are key drivers of violence in our communities. And offenders often exploit and target the vulnerable.

“Tackling violent crime and the supply of drugs is a top priority. The key aim of this operation was to stop drugs and weapons being brought onto the streets. Preventing these crimes, while also safeguarding vulnerable individuals on the cusp of violence, is paramount.

He added: "Our determination remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available to serve and protect our communities.

“We will continue to deny the use of the roads and railway for violent and predatory people, drug dealers and those involved in county lines gangs and organised crime to operate.’’

Officers from the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) coordinated the operation for the Met, and were supported by the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), Met Intelligence, the Dog Support Unit and the National Police Air Service (NPAS). These deployments were also assisted across London by the local Violence Suppression Units.

If you have any information about drug crime or violence, please contact police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 – your anonymity is guaranteed. They are a totally independent charity and you remain 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or device you use. Alternatively, visit their website


Current financial year data shows positive reductions across serious violent crime categories. Financial Year (FY) April 2021 - March 2022 the serious violence figures are:

  • Homicide: Has seen a 17% reduction against 2019/20 with 126 recorded homicide offences
  • Robbery: Has seen a 39% reduction against 2019/20 with 24,394 recorded robbery offences
  • Knife crime under 25: Has seen 21% reduction against 2019/20 with 1,227 recorded offences
  • Lethal Barrel Discharges: Has seen a 28% reduction against 2019/20 with 196 recorded offences