Over 5,000 Arrests Made During Operation Target

Biggest crackdown on neighbourhood crime in Met's history


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More than 5,000 people have been arrested in Operation Target - the biggest ever crackdown on neighbourhood crime in the Metropolitan Police Service's history.

The operation, which was launched on Wednesday 8 June, is tackling crime against people and property, and aims to achieve significant long term reductions in robbery, burglary and violent crime.

5,187 people have been arrested to date for firearms, robbery, burglary and other offences since the operation began. More than 1,500 officers, from across the MPS have been invovled in a sustained campaign of overt and covert operations, including increased patrols and proactive investigations to pursue suspects. 19 people were arrested on Monday night alone in five separate operations in Westminster.

Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson, head of MPS Territorial Policing,
said: "5,000 arrests shows the Met's commitment, through Operation Target to deal with the issues that matter to local communities.

"By bringing together borough based knowledge and expertise with the skills of our specialist units we will make a real and sustainable difference, allowing people to go about their daily lives feeling more safe and confident.

"Thousands of suspects have been arrested; suspected stolen property has been recovered; and drugs and weapons have been removed from the streets.

"While overall crime continues to fall - and is at its lowest in ten years - we have seen recent increases in robbery and burglary which we are determined to tackle. However, street robbery and burglary are still relatively far lower than previous years including 2006 when robbery was at peak levels.

"Our concerted actions in the Operation Target areas has seen reductions in overall crime and violence, while I'm pleased to report we have now stopped the increases in robbery and burglary in those areas. Over the next few weeks and months we will be working tirelessly to turn the corner and bring these offences down further - not only in the Operation Target areas, but across the whole of London and we will use our resources most effectively in the places that are affected most."

The main factors for this year's increase are a 92% increase in the theft of mobile phones and an increase in robbery of gold where thieves are targeting necklaces in particular and selling the jewellery on for cash through the second hand market.

Police have been working with external partners to close down disreputable businesses and venues such as pawn shops, licensed premises, and crack houses - places which attract or generate crime and anti-social behaviour. The MPS has also been working with the mobile phone industry to see how technology and software can help reduce street crime.

"The public can support this operation and help themselves from becoming a victim of crime by taking some basic prevention measures, for example, when out, where possible try to keep any valuables hidden. Smart phones and media players are becoming must-have items for criminals who see these items as cash.

"Many robberies happen when people check their phones just after leaving a bus or tube or when they are distracted. For more information or advice on how to keep safe visit met.police.uk/crimeprevention.

"Delivering on Operation Target is a key priority for the MPS as it is tackling the crimes that significantly impact on local communities and their confidence in us to help keep them safe. I can reassure Londoners that we will keep on relentlessly pursuing robbers, burglars and other criminals and bring them to justice to help keep London's communities safe."

August 1, 2011