Operation Big Wing to target “lower level” offenders blighting communities

07:27 27 February 2013

Anti-social behaviour and uninsured drivers will be among the people targeted by the Met Police today.

Operation Big Wing will see borough officers joined by specialist officers to carry out arrests, search warrants, licensing enforcement, ANPR operations, high visibility patrols and a range of other activity.

Police will also be holding street briefings and surgeries across London’s 32 boroughs to tell the public what is being done to tackle crime and disorder.

Ch Supt Simon Letchford said: “Gang violence, drugs, and knife crime are serious, high harm crimes that can sadly have a devastating and lasting effect on local communities; however, there are also many other issues which might be seen as ‘lower level’ offences, such as anti-social behaviour or uninsured drivers, that we know can and do blight the daily lives of too many people.

“Today’s operation is about showing Londoners that we have listened to their concerns and we are committed to taking robust preventative and disruptive action to stop this criminal activity and make their communities safer. It’s also about warning those intent on breaking the law and engaging in criminal activity that we will be doing everything we can to stop them, and wherever possible we will be putting them before the courts.

“Officers from every part of the Met have been mobilised and will be out and about on your streets today, tackling the crimes that affect your neighbourhood. You will see police carrying out licensing checks, uninsured vehicle checks, executing search warrants, and patrolling your local transport hubs throughout the day.

“Some of you will notice police surgeries where you can drop in to speak to an officer about your concerns; or street briefings, where you can listen in and find out what police are doing to make your neighbourhood safer. All members of the public are encouraged to engage with the officers, get some crime prevention advice, ask questions.

“We are here to serve the public, and we hope today’s activity will be one way of showing some of what we do every day to make London safer for our communities.”

The units and departments involved include all 32 London boroughs, Dog Support Unit, Mounted Branch, Territorial Support Group, Firearms Command, Trident and Gang Crime Command, Air Support Unit, Royal Parks Command, Traffic Unit, Special Constabulary, Police Cadets and Safer Transport Command.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Today should send a clear message - if you’re a criminal all of the Met’s officers and staff are working to catch you.

“The Met has an array of specialist experts as well as professional local officers who work daily to keep Londoners safe.

“This Big Wing operation brings them visibly together and the public should see them working to cut crime.”

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