653 weapons seized as London knife crime falls by a third

·2-min read
A total of 427 knives were also seized over the summer, as well as 226 other weapons (PA Archive)
A total of 427 knives were also seized over the summer, as well as 226 other weapons (PA Archive)

Knife crime in London was down by a third during August over pre-pandemic levels after a purge on prolific offenders and extra patrols in violence hotspots, Scotland Yard said on Wednesday.

A total of 427 knives were also seized over the summer, as well as 226 other weapons as officers implemented a six-point plan drawn up to suppress crime during the holiday period.

In addition, there were nearly 1,800 drug seizures as police responded to the link between the use of illicit substances and violence, while 40 people were detained using automatic number plate technology to target offenders driving in the capital with weapons.

Scotland Yard said that as well as the significant fall in knife crime — which comes despite the killing of 23 teenagers so far this year — the number of blade injuries suffered by under-25s dropped by 35 per cent.

Gun offending and robbery were down by similar amounts. It added that as well as enforcement, other elements of the six-point plan, including organising summer camps for children to keep them out of danger, had helped to lower offending.

It said that efforts to counter the “legacy effects of Covid” — which officers have previously said caused gang tensions to fester during lockdown — had similarly contributed to reducing crime this summer.

Announcing the results, Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s lead for violence, said officers were pleased but were determined to continue using the same tactics to achieve further progress. He added: “The reductions are compared to crime levels before the pandemic, showing real progress has been made over this time.

“These are tremendous efforts by officers who are dedicated to creating safer communities. Londoners can be reassured this work will continue.

“The work we are all doing plus the legacy effects of Covid-19 are also likely contributors to the declines.”

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