The Metropolitan Police seized 43 guns in just 11 days this month but the force’s commissioner insists violent crime in London is “not on the up”.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the seizures, between February 7 and 18, as an example of “some fantastic results” the force has had in the last few weeks.
The Assembly was told that stabbings in London are down by almost 30 per cent since 2019, while robberies are down more than 30 per cent and incidents of grievous bodily harm are down almost 20 per cent.
Cressida Dick acknowledged the “ghastly offences” that have occurred in recent weeks, but said, “overall, violent crime is not on the up”.
Ms Dick said: “We have, of course, had some horrible homicides which have received some attention in the media and quite rightly too. There have been some stabbings of young people.
“We are working very hard to reduce those crimes as much as we possibly can and, of course, respond sensitively and effectively to them.”
Ms Dick said that “the nexus between drugs and violence is where we are aiming” and revealed that more than 1,000 people have been charged with county lines drug offences since 2018, with 350 county lines closed.
However, while acknowledging the work of the Met and the Violence Reduction Unit, deputy chair of the committee Steve O’Connell said that “violence is still at an unacceptably high level despite downward trends”.
When asked whether violent crime is likely to rise again once lockdown restrictions are eased, Cressida Dick said: “I am not suggesting that we could see a rise in violence when we begin to ease some of the lockdown measures”.