Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police
Officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) made two arrests and seized two weapons in separate incidents while on proactive patrol in the North West BCU.
At 15:40hrs on Wednesday, 7 October, officers were on Cricklewood Broadway, NW1 looking out for potential drug dealers looking to sell to school children on their way home.
Using their local knowledge, the team attended an alleyway known for drug dealing; while they were there, they saw two individuals who were acting suspiciously. Officers approached them and both ran away. The officers chased them and the pair were swiftly detained and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
On the 14-year-old boy, they found a ‘ring knife’. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and has since been released from custody under investigation.
He was also referred to the Met’s custody intervention programme, Divert. Divert recognises the needs of young adults after arrest. The team, along with charities Bounce Back and The New Era, aim to divert young people away from crime and towards employment and education opportunities, prevent re-offending and help mitigate ongoing risks encountered by many of the young adults. In the last 12 months, Divert has engaged with more than 800 young people, over 380 of whom went on to full time employment or training.
The other boy, aged 16 years old, was not arrested and was released with no further action.
Later that evening, the officers were patrolling along Harlesden Road at 20:10hrs when they stopped a suspicious vehicle. The car and the driver, a 24-year-old man, were searched, and officers found a large lock knife. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and has been released from custody but the investigation into the incident continues.
Police Sergeant Iain Hardman, from the Violent Crime Taskforce, said: “The purpose of the VCTF is to be more proactive on the streets, bearing down on violent crime and serious criminality and we are doing just that.
“We are continuously seizing knives and weapons we find through our proactive work. The officers on this team are hugely dedicated and work hard to keep London safe.”
+ Communities also have a vital role to play in tackling violent crime and we urge anyone who may have information to tell us, so that we can tackle violence together. We need information about crime or those who carry a weapon, or those that exploit people for gain or revenge, while putting young people’s lives at risk. Community intelligence can be used to great effect to not only detect, but also prevent crime, keep London safe and save young lives.
If you don’t want to speak to the police, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They are a totally independent charity and you remain 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or device you use. Alternatively, visit their website.