Crack squad to beat Newham knife crime

Crack squad to beat Newham knife crime

A crack squad of undercover police have stepped up patrols to stem a surge knife-point robberies.

News that covert cops are flooding key crime hotspots comes as recent figures showed the borough’s youngsters are increasingly likely to be threatened or attacked with a knife.

Newham’s top policeman commander Simon Letchford said: “Undercover officers regularly target known offenders, once the known offender has been identified uniformed officers attend to stop and search the individual. Last week a knife was recovered using this tactic. Marked and unmarked police vehicles are deployed and dedicated to robbery in Newham every day.”

Police have seen a five per cent rise in knife-point robberies in the last year. Those aged 13 to 24 faced an eight per cent increase in knife-crime in the 12 months to April 2011. Mr Letchford said: “This rise is attributed to the theft of high value smart phones and gold jewellery. The desirability of these items gives robbers the increased incentive to carry a weapon to make the threat.

“Newham has the youngest population in England. 30 per cent of people are under 20 years of age. It is important to recognise that the vast majority of our youth are law-abiding and work hard to achieve goals.

“Our approach is aimed at deterring young people from becoming involved in crime while encouraging and enabling them to achieve their goals.

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“But when people cannot be diverted away we carry out enforcement activity. We also recognise that we have a duty to assure the safety of the public.”