BY YANN TEAR
The Met has launched Operation Winter Nights, a seasonal increase in police operations to prevent criminal activity and to keep people safe during the Christmas period.
Officers from across the Met will be involved in a number of preventative and engagement activities across London, particularly at festive events throughout December, until January 5.
Activities include the deployment of highly visible and covert police officers, knife searches at busy events and locations, in addition to operations using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology (ANPR), with the aim of deterring criminals and identifying those who are there to spoil the festive fun.
Local policing activity on all 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs) will be supported by specialist units from across the Met, including the Violent Crime Taskforce, Specialist Firearms Command, Roads and Transport Policing Command, Trident, Dogs Unit and the Mounted Branch.
The plan is to also work with colleagues from the City of London Police and British Transport Police.
Commander Jane Connors said: “December sees a large number of Christmas events and festivals which draw in tourists and Londoners into the city centre.
“We want the public to feel safe while enjoying the festivities, so this operation’s aim is to remove criminals from our streets so that people can enjoy themselves.
“Plans are in place for events throughout the winter period. Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved.
“The measures are precautionary.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to identify and pursue offenders, help bring perpetrators to justice, take weapons off the street, support victims, engage and reassure the public, and keep our communities safe.”
A Met spokesman added: “We ask the public to remain vigilant and if you see any suspicious activity, have any concerns, or have any information about suspected criminality, please call police on 101.
In an emergency always dial 999.
“Community intelligence can be used to great effect to not only detect, but prevent crime. Please help us to keep London safe.”
If you aren’t comfortable speaking directly to the police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
They do not ask your name or trace your call or the device that you use.
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