The South London Press has reported that Operation Target which is being run in 14 boroughs across London over the next six months has been achieving results in Lewisham. Since it started on the 8th of June officers have made 107 arrests, carried out more than 1,000 stop and searches and performed 87 weapon sweeps.
Operations have been happening across Lewisham but particularly in New Cross, Brockley, Lewisham Central, and Rushey Green, the wards that have been identified as the wards that contribute to most of the street robberies and burglaries.
Operation Target is focusing resources on the two percent of London that
sees a third of the all the muggings and 15% of all residential burglaries.
As a result of the weapon sweeps a hand gun, a samurai sword and knives have been found in Lewisham.
While it is welcome that these weapons have been taken off the streets, it is highly alarming that weapons are being routinely hidden in our parks and about our estates. Operation Target is clearly beginning to bring results but the fact that criminals and young people feel it is safe to hind their weapons in public shows that the police have been missing opportunities to remove these weapons for too long.
Police resources and police powers need to be used more intelligently and proactively in the fight against the guns and gangs on our streets. The police should be doing much more to find hidden weapons as part of their normal operational activities.