Knife crime in London has been reduced by more than 11 percent as a result of the Met’s Operation Blunt 2, according to figures released to mark the first anniversary of the operation.
Blunt 2 has seen officers engage in pro-active and targeted operations operations to arrest those carrying knives and engage with communities to stem the level of violence.
Commander Mark Simmons, head of Blunt 2, said: “We targeted the dangerous places where knife crime is most prevalent and young people are most concerned. Stop and search has helped create the environment where the carrying of knives is now less common than when we started. Seizures are substantially down despite maintaining the high level of activity. Officers carried out 287,898 stops and searches since May last year.
“Other tactics include the use of search arches and weapon sweeps. Overall 5,480 knives have been recovered and more than 10,200 people arrested.
“We have carefully planned the policing response at those events where historically youth violence has occurred – these include fairs, public entertainment events and so on.
“And we have put a significant amount of effort into policing safe routes home after school because again historically the after-school period saw a peak in knife crime and youth violence.
“We have maintained engagement with communities across London to ensure that our tactics are understood and have the support of the communities we are seeking to protect. The message we are continuing to get is clear – that we do have that support and that, providing we exercise our powers appropriately, stop and search is supported as a key tactic in delivering the safer environment that everyone wants. This was reaffirmed in February in an extensive process of consultation that led to 755 engagements in schools and more than 120 operations in which community observers took part.
Commander Mark Simmons added: “There is much that we have achieved since the start of Blunt 2. However, we are not complacent. We said at the start that we were in this for the long haul and we remain determined to continue for as long as necessary in our efforts to reduce the risk of knife crime and serious youth violence in London