The Met’s priority in tackling gun crime is having significant successes with shootings down, firearm seizures up and more firearm offences being solved.
Tackling violence is the Met’s top priority, and the Met has been focused on driving down gun crime in order to keep our communities safe.
Gun crime can have a devastating impact on victims and their families and the Met has been relentless in identifying, arresting and charging those criminals that use firearms to target rivals and run their criminal enterprises.
Money, drugs and weapons are all inextricably linked and gun crime is the highest tier of violence due to the nature and extent of injury firearms incidents cause. Gun crime is closely linked to gangs and the drugs markets in London.
It is how people enforce their territory, settle debts and expand their drugs market through violence. We know that the majority of shootings in London are linked to urban street gangs and organised crime groups, so the likelihood of being a victim of gun crime if you are not connected to one of these groups is low.
Officers and staff from across the Met have been working tirelessly with partners and forces across the country to dismantle organised criminal groups facilitating the importation, manufacture and transportation of firearms around the UK. The Met’s Specialist Crime Command, along with frontline officers and staff have been able to use tactics, both proactive and reactive, to combat criminals involved in gun crime.
This has resulted in significant success, which includes:
- Seizures: In the financial year 2021/22, officers removed 524 lethal firearms from the streets compared with 480 in the same period for 2020/21, and 408 in 2019/20;
- Shootings: A reduction in the number of shootings from 283 in the financial year 2019/20 to 196 in 2021/22;
- Detections: An increase in the number of shootings being solved rising from 20 per cent in 2019/20 to 38 per cent in 2021/22.
These successes have been built on the Met’s use of proactive teams, focusing on seizing and disrupting the movement of firearms at the earliest stages and therefore preventing them from being used on the streets of London, or across the UK.
If a criminal does use a firearm, then the Met’s Specialist Crime Command (Trident) will investigate all non-fatal shootings and those in possession of guns, so that offenders are identified, arrested and charged. Meanwhile, other tactics used have included high-visibility armed patrols, proactive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations and intelligence-led stop and search.
In communities, officers have been engaging with young people through schools and local groups to advise on the dangers of carrying firearms.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “London is a thriving, global city and one of the busiest capitals in the world but illegal firearms can pose a huge danger on our streets and in our communities. That is why gun crime and tackling violence is our top priority. The work and dedication of our officers and staff to stop lethal firearms from making their way into London and onto our streets, is unwavering. We are using every tactic available to disrupt criminal networks and bring those in possession of firearms to justice.
“These reductions are not an accident. We act on all the intelligence available to us and continue to use every asset at our disposal to infiltrate those supplying and using illegal firearms, so that we can seize them and bring those who intend to use them to justice. Together with our partners we continue to adopt an approach to reduce the supply, demand and availability of guns in London. The Met is also heavily involved in national and international efforts to identify and suppress merging trends within the market for illegal firearms.
“The public should be reassured by these reductions and our strong commitment to making our communities safer. Firearms offences can have a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities, we must put a stop to them. If you have any information regarding gun crime, please speak to the police or in confidence through Crimestoppers.”