MPS intensifies its efforts to tackle violence on the capital’s streets
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is realigning its resources and using more data-driven deployments to tackle violence on London’s streets.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said they will be “using intelligence and data in a more sophisticated manner” to ensure they have the right people in the right places.
One hundred experienced officers will be reassigned to work alongside borough officers to use their existing local knowledge and expertise to counter violence through pro-active patrols and operations, as well as accelerating and improving the effectiveness of investigations.
In addition, the Violent Crime Taskforce has merged with officers from the highly successful Operation Venice, which achieved a 38 per cent reduction in moped enabled-crime in 2019 – 5,042 fewer offences than the 13,193 total in 2018 – to assist in driving down robbery and knife crime.
Other moves include the creation of two additional homicide teams, made up of 50 detectives reassigned last year.
The MPS says it is going after the “most dangerous and harmful individuals” wanted for violence-related offences and suspects were being arrested daily. It adds that it is “not complacent” and will continue to exploit every tactic and power available, including intelligence-led stop and search. The financial year ending March 2019 saw stop and search remove more than 4,000 weapons from the capital’s streets.
Section 60 stop and search powers will also continue to be used as a safeguarding tactic following serious acts of violence to help prevent retaliatory incidents, or stop potential outbreaks of further violence and reassure communities.
The force said it acknowledges that drugs were inextricably linked to a high proportion of the violence in London, as well as the exploitation of young people. In 2019, officers arrested more than 750 people associated with County Lines criminality.
Mr Simmons, added: “Every single officer in the MPS knows that tackling violence is their first priority. The public will see increased police activity as part our 2020 push to drive down violence in all its forms. We know this is what matters most to Londoners. It is the responsibility of all our officers and staff to identify, target, and pursue those involved in violence and safeguard the public.
“But we cannot do this alone. The causes of violence are complex. We are working with others to help young people avoid gangs and violence. Information from the community can help to not only detect, but also prevent crime and save lives.”
The MPS says it will also be “growing stronger in 2020” as officer numbers increase, with a target of more than 32,000 by late summer.