Breaking LONDON

A six-week surge of activity to prevent and bear down on violence, including violence against women, has resulted in safer evenings across London

From Monday, 4 October to Sunday, 14 November, operation Autumn Nights saw a concerted effort from officers undertaking engagement and enforcement activity as the days grew shorter and the festive period began.

Officers also targeted the most dangerous offenders, maximised on diversion opportunities and increased their presence through hotspot patrols in areas affected by violent crime and sexual offences.   

Overall the operation resulted in: 

– 116 individuals referred to DIVERT – An intervention programme aimed to reduce re-offending;
– 835 weapons seized; 
– 38 firearms recovered;
– 504 vehicles seized;
– 777 hotspot patrols aimed to keep women and girls safe;
– 568 arrests for violent and sexual offences.

Targeting criminals using transport routes in and out of London, we worked with bordering forces and arrested more than 100 people and seized 18 weapons during Operation Pandilla. Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, the officers intercepted offenders bringing weapons and drugs onto the capital’s streets.

A strong focus towards tackling violence against women and girls was also undertaken in piloting Project Vigilant in Lambeth and Southwark. This involves teams patrolling busy night-time locations in the boroughs to identify and deter predatory offending.

Other initiatives under Autumn Nights included, surges of teams who spend time in the areas where they are most needed following daily assessments to provide a reassuring presence, plus a boost in town centre teams over the weekends to support the night time economy.

Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s lead for tackling violence, said: “We are dedicated to making London feel safe for everyone who lives, visits and works here. Previously this has been a time of year where violent crime and anti-social behaviour increase and Autumn Nights is our response to that, resulting in reductions in robbery and knife crime.

“We are working hard to restore the public’s trust in our police service and these results start to show the impact we’ve had in our city resulting in reductions in most violent crime categories. From patrols in crime hotspots preventing violence to dedicated operations aimed to keep women safe, the Autumn Nights operation has been a great effort from teams across the Met.

“I recently met with a variety of community figures across London where we discussed how we can tackle violence collectively. Everyone needs to work together, from police, councils, and schools to communities, activists, non-governmental organisations and families.”

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. They never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111. It could save a life

+ This year to October 2021 (CYTD), compared to the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, has seen:

– Homicides decrease by seven per cent (nine less victims)
– Knife crime decrease by 32 per cent (4,105 fewer offences)
– Knife crime with injury decrease by 21 per cent (718 fewer victims)
– Knife Injury (victims under 25 and non-DA) decrease by 28 per cent (395 fewer victims)
– Personal robbery decrease by 44 per cent (13,453 fewer victims)
– Personal robbery knife injury decrease by 35 per cent (162 fewer victims)
– Gun crime decrease by 36 per (643 fewer offences)
– Lethal barrel discharges decrease by 20 per cent (44 fewer offences)

Despite these reductions are not complacent and know there is more to do. Our determination to tackle these crimes remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available, to serve and protect our communities.