London crackdown: Almost 1,700 suspects, including drug dealers, arrested over six weeks by Met

Officers from Metropolitan Police raid a house in Islington (PA) (PA Wire)
Officers from Metropolitan Police raid a house in Islington (PA) (PA Wire)

Almost 1,700 suspects – including violent criminals, drug dealers and sex offenders – have been arrested in London over the past six weeks during a surge in operations, the Metropolitan Police has said.

As part of Operation Yamata, an off-shoot of the force’s county lines response, officers have charged a high-risk sex offender who had been on the run for more than four years, and closed 27 drugs lines over the course of one week.

Commander Alexis Boon, who leads on the project, said the Met has been taking a “much more precise and strategic” approach to tackling crime.

It comes after new Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley listed drug gangs as one of five key areas the Met will focus on in a bid to boost confidence in Britain’s largest police force.

As part of the plan for his first 100 days, the force is seeking to disrupt high-risk and high-impact offenders, identifying those responsible for enforcing illegal markets through serious violence.

The Met said that over the course of one week, officers closed 27 drugs lines, arrested 15 offenders and charged them with a total of 54 charges, while recovering more than £12,000, rambo knives and drugs.

The operation has also clamped down on burglaries, with officers attending 80% of domestic burglaries in October in an effort to arrive at all reports.

Some 177 offenders were charged or cautioned with 297 burglary offences in the three weeks from October 17, the Met said.

The next stage of the force’s operation will continue to focus on criminals causing the most harm within communities, including men who are violent towards women and girls.

Mr Boon said: “We know a small number of people are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime and bring the most harm to our communities.

“What is different about this approach is we are much more precise and strategic in how we are delivering our operations.

“I am very pleased that we have taken drug dealers, street robbers, prolific burglars, and those suspected of serious sexual offences and domestic abuse off our streets.’’