Newham officers seize knives, drugs and offensive weapons in crackdown on violence


One of the 12 knives taken off the streets by officers covering Newham and Waltham Forest. - Credit: MPS

Twelve knives have been taken off the streets in a police crackdown on violence.

Officers covering Newham and Waltham Forest seized 10 other offensive weapons and carried out 51 drug seizures as part of the five week-long operation winter nights.

Commander Jane Connors, the Met’s violence lead, said: “There was a real flood of activity to tackle violence over this period and that will only continue in 2021. 

“I hope the public felt reassured by our visible presence in robbery and violence hotspots and know it is the top priority of everyone in the Met." 

The crackdown saw police make 57 arrests for offences including possession with intent to supply class A drugs, robbery, assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

Part of the operation's aim was to build trust and confidence among communities across London.

Preventing robbery and violence as well as offering people ways out of trouble were part of the work too.

Each of the five weeks had a different focus. Week one saw automatic number plate recognition cameras used and led to the arrest of 75 offenders involved in violence and drug dealing.

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The second week saw officers swoop on robbery hotspots. An operation in neighbourhoods to thwart criminals led to 30 arrests.

The following week officers cracked down on so-called high harm offenders, appealing to people on social media for help finding them.

In the fourth week, the focus returned to robbery in the run-up to Christmas.

An operation to disrupt offenders in areas known for robbery took place with leaflets given out to raise awareness.

The final week saw a surge of anti-violence activity including arrest warrants, weapon sweeps, proactive patrols and intelligence-led stop and search in areas where violence is known to occur most often.

Every person brought into custody was given the chance to be referred to diversion schemes. These provide opportunities for advice, training and guidance.

In the last three months of last year, 73 people were referred to DIVERT which is an intervention programme aimed at cutting re-offending.

Commander Connors said: “When violence occurs in our communities, it is devastating. It is vital that we engage with all of our communities and help those who need it.”