Crackdown To Get Knives Off Streets

Crackdown To Get Knives Off Streets:


Police across England and Wales are beginning a week-long crackdown on knife crime, which rose significantly in 2015.


In London alone, during the first six weeks of this year, there have been eight knife related murders.

Sky News was given exclusive access to the North West Taskforce, part of the Met's Territorial Support Group (TSG), as officers confronted knife carrying criminals and recovered a weapon which detectives believe was used in an east London murder last week.

It was a relentless night of calls for officers that attended calls to violent incidents involving knives and other weapons.

Crackdown To Get Knives Off Streets

Officers smashed their way through a reinforced door in east London

Scotland Yard commanders told Sky News that similar operations will take place across London over the next week.

As part of operation Sceptre, officers will patrol knife-crime hotspots, using real-time intelligence to target those who carry and use such weapons.

Police will also be working with Trading Standards to carry out test-purchase operations to identify shops selling knives to young people.

Police in other parts of the country, which have also recorded an average 9% rise in knife crime, will be launching similar operations.

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth said: "The Metropolitan Police is absolutely dedicated to reduce the number of knives in circulation at street level.

"We have noticed in the last 12 months an increase in the number of young people carrying knives and that can only end badly for anyone concerned.

Crackdown To Get Knives Off Streets

Knife crime
Several weapons were recovered from the address

"If you carry a knife our message is simple - it will result in with you or someone else getting injured - or you're going to prison."

On the road with the TSG task force the team was called to east London to assist murder squad detectives in their investigation into a fatal stabbing in a park in the borough of Newham.

The team forced entry to a nearby 'crack-den' used regularly by the young man police arrested in connection with the murder.

With intelligence there could be weapons inside the flat, officers wore full body armour as they smashed their way through a reinforced door.

Three people were handcuffed as officers searched the rooms and found a samurai sword, an axe and two large knives.

Scotland Yard have now charged a man, Kaleb Amponsah, 18, from east London with murder. He is due to appear at Thames Magistrates Court later today.

Lorraine Jones, from Lambeth, south London, is one of a growing number of parents who have lived with the trauma of losing a loved one to knife crime.

Crackdown To Get Knives Off Streets

Knife crime
Three people were handcuffed as police searched the the premises

Her son Dwayne Simpson was stabbed to death in Brixton in 2014, after stopping to help another young man being chased by a gang of youths.

His mother, a local church minister, has helped set up a training gym and local community project in his memory.

She said: "There's not a day that goes by that I don't shed a tear. I'm stronger now and not breaking down so much but it's very raw because I have to deal with trauma, as well as grief and bereavement.

"It's the way he was taken from us that really hurts. Knife crime is like a disease. Does it have a cure? I'm not sure, but we've got to keep fighting and campaigning with the support of the police."

Lorraine's experience is part of the brutal reality of knife crime, where increasing numbers of mainly young men are picking up weapons, including knives and guns, to settle often petty arguments.

The controversial stop-and-search tactic will form part of this week's nationwide anti-knife crime initiative.

Sky News witnessed a number of stop and searches during the evening but most of those stopped accepted the need for such operations. Jordan Dobson, a local secondary school teacher in north London, was one of the those stopped.

Knife crime
Police say they have witnessed an increase in young people carrying knifes

He said: "There is more than enough young people dying, old people dying - whether it's knife, guns or fighting, so without these guys (police) there would be mayhem so I'm grateful that they are here.

"Sometimes they do get on your nerves but they're here to a job. I understand that."

During a night of back-to-back response calls, the task force was also called to help officers in the borough of Hackney deal with large scale violent disorder.

It followed the shooting a young man in the neck. Another young man was stabbed in apparent retaliation.

Reinforcements dispersed groups of youths and recovered various weapons, including a large so-called 'zombie killer' knife.

It was a relentless night of dealing with the consequences of knife crime and gang violence.

Across the country this week there will be many more operations like the one Sky News witnessed, as police fight back against a growing menace.

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