The Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Mayor of London are boosting the fight against violent crime in the capital by adding another 122 officers to the City Hall funded Violent Crime Taskforce
Published: Wednesday, 19th September 2018
The officers will temporarily move from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, and will be ready to start on Monday (17 September), boosting the size of the City Hall funded Violent Crime Taskforce - a targeted team making arrests and taking weapons off the streets in the areas of London with the highest concentrations of knife and other forms of violent crime.
The taskforce was launched in April using £15 million of additional funding from City Hall and has so far made 895 arrests, carried out 1400 weapons sweeps, removed 212 knives and removed nearly 200 offensive weapons from our streets. Bolstering the Taskforce from its current 150 officers to 272 will allow the Met to be even more proactive on the streets of the capital, bearing down on violent crime and serious criminality.
The new move will give officers a greater presence in areas with high levels of violent crime, as well as allowing more intelligence-led and targeted stop and search, and the use of specialists in covert tactics. The taskforce seeks to target dangerous offenders and provide local officers with speedy and accurate intelligence to take them off the streets.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This is drastic action that I would rather we didn’t have to take, but the Government’s persistent refusal to give our police service the funding they desperately need has left with us with no choice.
“The level of violent crime in London is unacceptably high. As well as setting up the new dedicated Violent Crime Taskforce to focus on the areas worst affected, I’m bringing together the Met Police with local councils, charities, community groups and others to work on a public health approach to tackling knife crime, and we have created a new £45 million Young Londoners Fund to provide young people with positive alternatives to crime and to help those caught up in gangs to get into employment and training.
“The causes of violent crime are extremely complex, and involve culture, community, gangs, drugs, poverty and a lack of opportunities and have been made much worse by the Government’s huge cuts to the Metropolitan Police and youth services across our city, resulting in police numbers falling to the lowest level in 20 years. Cuts really do have consequences.”
The Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) is the largest police unit in the UK, made up of more than 2,300 police and community support officers.
This is a short-term initiative, and the RTPC will seek to mitigate any temporary impact on staffing numbers through backfilling posts in key areas and focus effort in other areas, such as reducing road danger.
The Mayor added: “I want to reassure Londoners that moving officers from the roads and traffic policing command is only a temporary measure. The Met will work to minimise the impact of their transfer, and policing our roads remains a key priority.”
Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport and Corporate Property at Hounslow Council said:
“We fully support Mayor Khan’s decision to redeploy officers to the Violent Crime Taskforce to better tackle the scourge of violent crime in London, along with the Met Police.
It’s important to ensure that criminals are caught and punished across the capital to keep the streets safe for our residents.”