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Operation to tackle gun crime

News   •   Dec 10, 2015 08:00 GMT

[IMAGE: A firearm recovered in Ilford Lane, Ilford as part of Op Kestrel]

"There is no safe place for your gun" is the message from the Met as an operation to take guns off London's streets has already netted big results.

The operation - codenamed Kestrel - is being run by the Trident and Area Crime Command and draws together a range of specialist units from across the Met to make it as hard as possible for criminals to carry or hide guns.

Since the operation started on Sunday, 6 December, eight firearms, four knives, two swords, 11 kilos of what is believed to be cocaine, three kilos of cannabis, one kilo of MDMA, four kilos of crack cocaine, heroine with a street value of £250,000 and 8,000 wraps of cocaine have all been seized. There have been eight arrests.

The arrests and seizures have been as a result of weapon sweeps, intelligence led operations, search warrants and directed patrols by Armed Response Vehicles and Trident officers using ANPR technology.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, in charge of the Trident and Area Crime Command, said:

"Back in June this year we launched a Met wide crackdown on knives to stop the rise in knife crime. To date this has led to 6,000 arrests and more than 1,000 knives have been taken out of circulation. Now we are using similar tactics to turn our focus on gun crime.

"Using a range of tactics from the highly covert to the very overt we will make it as hard as possible for criminals to carry or hide guns or indeed to supply them to others

"We are determined to make getting hold of a gun as difficult as possible by targeting those who convert or manufacture guns, seeking out hiding places to disrupt their use and identifying those who carry guns for others."

Officers from Trident and Area Crime Command, Counter Terrorism Command, Territorial Support Group, Specialist Firearms Unit, Borough Officers, Organised Crime Command and Met Intelligence are all involved in the operation.

DCS Southworth, concluded:

"Guns are used to cause fear, injury and death. Just as we continue to do with knives we are determined to take as many guns out of circulation as we can, disrupt the supply and deter anyone from getting involved in gun crime.

"We need your help to do that. Londoners will know of hiding places and some will know of those in their community who are carrying guns. Don't let this happen in your community, tell us and we will do something about it. You can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

So far over 140 weapon sweeps and firearms licensing visits have been carried out and operational activity is ongoing.

This is a London-wide operation with an array of activities by both police and partners across all boroughs, but there will be additional emphasis on those areas that have seen higher numbers of gun discharges.

The eight firearms seized are broken down as:
= three sawn-off shot guns
= two handguns
= one imitation firearm
= two CS gas canisters

Breakdown of the eight arrests:
= two arrested on suspicion of a firearm with intent to endanger life
= one arrested on suspicion of assault
= two arrested on suspicion of possession of Section 5 Firearm (CS gas)
= one arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs
= one arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply
= one arrested on suspicion of money laundering