London

New violent crime taskforce 'seizes gun, knives and drugs'

handgun Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption The Met Police's new Violent Crimes Taskforce seized a handgun during 40 stop and searches

A new group set up amid a spike in violent crime in London has seized weapons and a "large number" of drugs in a two-day blitz, police said.

Seven people were arrested as the Met's Violent Crimes Taskforce carried out more than 40 stop-and-searches and raided eight properties on Saturday and Sunday.

A handgun, axe, nine knives and dozens of Class A drugs packages were seized.

In the first 100 days on 2018, 52 people were killed in London.

Insp Peter Moxham said the public had supported the "activities we were undertaking to disrupt violent crime".

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption A handgun, axe, nine knives and dozens of Class A drugs packages were seized

The Met Police set up the taskforce earlier this month following a recent spike in murders.

London saw more murders committed than New York in February and March this year.

The number of teenagers being killed in London has returned to its worst levels since 2008.

Knife crime across England and Wales is starting to increase after year-on-year falls between 2011-14.

The new unit is composed of specially selected full-time staff, focussing on violent crime, weapon-enabled crime and serious criminality.

Borough officers, community partners and the Met's specialist gang unit all provide support for the new team.

Mr Mocham said: "Many members of local communities engaged with us positively and told us how happy they are with the activities we were undertaking to disrupt violent crime.

"Quite often, we are patrolling in undercover vehicles and dressed in plain clothes - just because you cannot see us, does not mean we are not around."

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