Lewisham Police have launched a new operation, code-name Yarra, in which known crime offenders in the borough will be targeted and watched.
The operation, which started in July, includes enhanced intelligence-led patrols made up of officers from the Safer Neighborhoods campaign and plain clothes officers using search warrants. So far the warrant searches have been used in Stoneycroft Close, Kimbolton Close, Geraint Road and Shroffold Road in Downham.
Detective Chief Inspector Barry Smith who is in charge of the operation said: “I want burglars, robbers and drug dealers in Lewisham to understand that we will be targeting them, making a concerned effort to arrest and bring them to justice.
“In our new operation we will target a number of ‘high crime’ areas across the borough as officers both in uniform and plain clothes will be working together to disrupt criminal activities.
“No stone will be left unturned and we will focus our resources on Operation Yarra until we are satisfied that we have arrested and disrupted all our top, prolific offenders.
“We have reduced crime across the borough in the past 12 months also thanks to information passed to us by members of the public; we are using our intelligence picture and the information that members of the public are passing onto us on a daily basis to target those committing crime.
“We are particularly grateful to anyone able to assist us and I’d like to remind members of the public of the vital role they can play in helping us to fight crime.”
So far officers have conducted four warrants and managed to arrest a total of fourteen previous offenders with rap-sheets ranging from burglary, theft, robbery, possession of a firearm and possession of drugs with intent to supply. Class B drugs with a street value of over £10,000 were seized at a house in Lee.
Police are also conducting stop and search weapons sweeps in the Borough as well as at train stations surrounding the Borough. At the same time, they have been providing crime prevention advice at Forest Hill and Sydenham train stations for concerned citizens.
Edgar Davis, a police officer from Lewisham told ELL: “What we are trying to do is reduce the crime rate in the area through targeting already known offenders, as they are usually the ones who commit crimes and have links to other offenders. If they know that they are being watched, documented and monitored maybe they will think twice before committing crime in the Borough again.”
Over the last 12 months crime has been down in Lewisham by 22.1% with about 266 fewer offenses than last year. Burglary is down 21.9% with 571 less offenses.
Anybody with information about crime should call Crimestoppers on 0800555111.