Extra patrols and knife arches in new Met Police blitz on people carrying weapons

John Dunne
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Operation Sceptre will include weapons sweeps and dog patrols in knife crime hotspots

(PA Archive)" />

Police today launched a crackdown on knife crime with extra patrols across London and a focus on tackling drug dealers carrying weapons.

Operation Sceptre will include weapons sweeps and dog patrols in knife crime hotspots. Officers will use automatic number plate recognition technology to pursue suspected drug dealers using young people as county lines drugs couriers.

Knife arches are also being set up at transport hubs across London.

Officers will go into schools to educate children on the dangers of carrying knives. Londoners are also being encouraged to hand in knives at any of the 12 police stations across the capital.

The operation comes after a weekend of violence in which Fares Maatou, 14, was stabbed to death in Newham and a 16-year-old-girl suffered life-changing injuries after a double knife attack in Lambeth.

Met commander Alex Murray said: “Throughout the past year, our priority continued to be targeting violent crime and its drivers. Now lockdown restrictions are easing, it is vital that we maintain this focus and drive.

“This operation is an intensification of the work officers are already doing on a daily basis to tackle knife crime and remove dangerous weapons from the streets. We are absolutely determined to keep violence levels down as we approach the summer months.”

Knife crime has led to devastation for families. Hussain Chaudhry, 18, was fatally stabbed outside his Walthamstow home last month and his mother was also slashed with a blade.

His sister Afia Ahmed Chaudhry wrote on Twitter: “We’ve lost our baby and no pain will compare. You radiated light. You studied well, loved well, prayed well.”

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