Published: Wednesday, 27th June 2018

Arrests made in three-day crackdown on knife crime in Woolwich town centre.

Twenty arrests were made and seven hidden knives were found in a three-day crackdown on knife crime, gang activity and youth violence in Woolwich town centre.

The Police operation in Woolwich town centre is still ongoing and over the coming weeks officers will be carrying out further action to combat serious youth violence and knife crime.

Working with the Police to reduce knife crime

Met Police officers flooded the town centre for the proactive operation earlier this month which was undertaken as part of the borough wide 'Knife Crime Action Plan'. The multi-faceted plan drawn up by the Council in partnership with the Police aims to tackle the London rise in knife crime.

A total of 20 arrests were made during the three-day operation from 11 June until 13 June which included eight arrests for possession with intent to supply drugs, four arrests for possession of a pointed or bladed article and one for the possession of an offensive weapon.

In addition officers carried out 23 'stop and searches' of individuals and ten searches of addresses after making arrests. The Police also recovered seven knives and an offensive weapon which were hidden at locations around the town centre.

'Knife crime has devastating consequences for all our communities'

Councillor Jackie Smith, the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, said: "I would like to praise the Police for this highly focused proactive action to tackle knife crime, gang activity and youth violence.

"We are hugely concerned with the upward trend in knife crime in the Royal Borough which is in line with the rise across London. There was a total of 160 knife crimes committed across the borough last year which is why our joint work with the Police on our Knife Action Plan is now our top priority.

"Knife crime has devastating consequences for all our communities but tragically young people are so often the victims and the perpetrators. We are committed to addressing the complex causes of knife crime and youth violence which is why our plan includes both Police work to target offenders as well as engagement with young people and their families to act upon their views on the issues involved."

'The local community were fully engaged'

Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson the Greenwich Borough Commander said the three-day operation was carried out jointly with the Met's Safer Transport Team.

He said: "Officers utilised a number of tactics and ensured the local community were fully engaged with throughout the operation, thus the Police receiving positive support from local residents and businesses.

"This operation is ongoing and over the coming weeks officers will be completing further activity to combat serious youth violence and knife crime."