London

Raids target rise in London burglaries and robberies

The Met has arrested 48 people in a series of raids across London to target the rise in robberies and burglaries.

Operation Target is the largest such operation carried out by police and is expected to last six months.

It focuses on areas which cover just 2% of the city but which see a third of London's muggings and 15% of residential burglaries.

Over the past year in London, domestic burglary has risen by 14% and robberies have gone up by 11%.

Burglary is up 6.4% since April compared with the same time last year and robbery is up by 12.1%.

More than 1,500 officers took part in Wednesday's raids. They have carried out 163 operations in which three shotguns, a revolver and drugs have been seized. At one address 100 mobile phones were found.

Seventy to 100 cannabis plants were found in a north-west London borough.

The 32 arrests are on suspicion of offences including possession of firearms, burglary, supply of drugs, public order and theft.

There will be increased patrols in key areas and specialist teams, such as the Flying Squad, helping local police.

Specialist investigation teams will help trace and arrest wanted or suspected robbers and burglars.

Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson said: "Operation Target is to be the largest sustained crackdown against crimes such as robbery, burglary and violence ever conducted by the Met.

"While robbery and burglary are still relatively low in comparison to previous years we are determined to cut these offences further."

The officer leading Operation Target, Commander Maxine de Brunner, added: "Target is a long-term drive to reduce crime and keep it down.

"The operation is due to last for at least six months and will see the relentless deployment of our specialist assets, resources, tactics and skills in areas which suffer disproportionate levels of crime and anti-social behaviour."

London Mayor Boris Johnson accompanied officers on one of the raids.

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