Lewisham police join anti-knife crime campaign

Lewisham police have joined a capital-wide anti-knife crime campaign Pic: MPS

Lewisham police have joined a capital-wide anti-knife crime campaign Pic: MPS

Police in Lewisham have joined the London Metropolitan Police Service for the second phase of a campaign to tackle the rise of knife crime in the capital.

The week-long campaign will have an intelligence-led focus on stop and search operations and knife amnesty boxes will be placed across the borough.

Weapon sweeps will also be conducted in an effort to “take knives out of circulation and the hands of young people”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, currently heading up the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “Our summer operation had a significant impact, with more than 900 knives recovered during a period of weeks and over 270 arrests.

“For this reason we are running a second tranche to coincide with half term, where we will again be looking to reduce the number of knives in circulation, taking them out of the hands of those individuals intent on using them.”

The prevention strategy will run alongside a social media campaign, offering support and testimonies for victims of knife crime.

Local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, specialist officers from the Territorial Support Group and Trident Gang Crime Command will be conducting patrols in hotspot areas for knife crime.

The Roads and Transport Policing Command will also be visible at transport hubs using knife detection tools to catch and deter those carrying knives on public transport.

This will be the second operation of its kind as the initial phase, which ran for a week starting on July 17, saw 278 weapons seized and 194 arrests made.

Knife crime in Lewisham has risen by more than 34 per cent in the last year, increasing from 139 reported cases to 184, official statistics revealed.

It represents the second highest rise across EastLondonLines boroughs, coming behind Tower Hamlets, which had a 52 per cent rise, from 177 to 269 reported cases.

The campaign also follows a nationwide manhunt to find a man wanted in connection with a fatal stabbing at a London bar earlier this month.

Josh Hanson, 21, from north west London, was stabbed in the neck in an unprovoked attack at the RE Bar in Hillingdon on October 11.

#StopKnifeCrime now circulates online alongside a petition calling for justice in the case of Hanson.

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