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Over 150 arrests made in 3-month op to tackle violence in south London

News   •   Apr 29, 2021 12:10 BST

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As part of Met-wide efforts to drive down violence and related crime, a proactive operation in Croydon and Bromley has resulted in 154 arrests and the recovery of a number of offensive weapons.

In response to a spate of unrelated stabbings on the borough, the Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) joined local officers over a ten-week period to provide additional resilience, supporting the borough and mitigating the threat caused by serious violence.

Between February and April, officers from various commands across the Met carried out a series of patrols and weapon sweeps. Specialist drug detection dogs and Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology were also used to reassure local communities as part of efforts to prevent and respond to violence in all its forms.

A total of 289 stops were carried out, leading to the arrest of 154 individuals for offences including possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Numerous weapons were recovered during the operation, including a firearm and 29 knives.

As the result of one stop in Croydon Road, Penge on 3 February, two males were searched and found to have drugs on them; this led to the search of a nearby address they were linked to and officers recovered over £18,000 in cash.

On 11 February officers located a vehicle in the Bromley area which had been linked to an earlier incident involving criminal damage to a car. Two males were arrested after a large machete, baseball bat, and sling shot with ball bearings were found inside the vehicle.

Officers discovered the gun during the search of a Purley address on 17 March. A large quantity of suspected Class A drugs were also found. Two males were arrested at the property.

Inspector Leon Coltress, from the VCTF, said: “What we are able to do with our resources is to swiftly mobilise a specialised team of highly trained officers to deal directly with an emerging issue in any area of London.

“The results following this recent focus in Croydon and Bromley are plain to see. It is clear this activity has had a significant impact on efforts to tackle violent crime in the area. The significant number of arrests also demonstrates the value of intelligence-led stop and search.

“Residents will have seen officers not only dealing with but also preventing crime, and will hopefully have been reassured by their presence and felt safer as a result. It’s essential we all work together to help protect our communities.”

This was a joint operation involving proactive activity by Violence Suppression Units, the Violent Crime Taskforce, Dogs Support Unit, Armed Response Vehicles and the Roads and Transport Policing Command.

Hard calls save lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of knife crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers.

No piece of information about knife crime is insignificant or too small. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families.