MPS drives down gun crime to 15-year low

A team of specialist detectives from across the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have helped to drive down firearms offences in the capital to a 15-year low.

Jun 17, 2024
By Paul Jacques

Officers have been targeting serious and organised crime groups which pose the greatest harm in their fight against illegal firearms.

This has led to a record low in firearms offences in the past 15 years across London. Last year alone, 386 illegal firearms were seized in the capital – more than one a day.

The MPS has also achieved the highest detection rate of people responsible for shootings in the last 11 years, with one in two (52 per cent) criminals being prosecuted.

Since March 2023 there has been a reduction from 196 firearms offences to 145. There has also been a sustained reduction in firearm-related murders in the past three years – from 12 murders in 2021/22, to ten in 2022/23, and eight in 2023/24.

“There is no place for firearms on the streets of London and every single death or injury is a tragedy, leaving victims and their families with life-changing effects,” the force said.

“While progress has been positive, there are still firearms offences taking place.

“Specialist officers continue to use data, forensics and technology to locate illegal firearms and arrest the criminals responsible. Officers investigate criminals with a previous history of carrying a firearm and their associates, as well as working closely with communities to gain new intelligence, conduct searches of properties where there may be suspected firearms and employ covert tactics, such as surveillance.”

The MPS said its “tenacious officers” have been hugely impactful leading to a series of targeted operations in specific areas.

Across Harrow, Brent and Barnet, the work of officers has meant there has not been a single firearms-related murder since 2020. That compares to previous years when there was at least one fatal shooting a year between 2014 and 2020. Additionally, since 2020, 80 offenders have been charged with various firearm offences, 64 of these have so far been convicted resulting in a total of 367 years in jail.

In South East London, specialist officers have driven down firearms offences in Lambeth and Southwark by 44 per cent – from 45 offences in 2022/23 to 25 in 2023/24.

Between May 21 and June 6, a total of 51 suspects were arrested across Westminster as part of a successful operation targeting gangs and organised crime. The operation, run in partnership with Westminster Council led to the seizure of 17 firearms. In addition, 17kg of drugs and more than £150,000 in criminal assets were also seized.

MPS Commander Paul Brogden, who is responsible for specialist crime, said: “Guns destroy lives and communities. The recent shootings in parts of London are a sad reminder that there is still work for us to do when it comes to cracking down on illegal firearms. My thoughts are with those affected.

“The Met’s sustained work on firearms shows our commitment to making London a safer place. We will continue to build trust in the communities disproportionately impacted by these offences and remain relentless in our pursuit of criminals that use and supply firearms.

“Our progress should serve as a message to criminals and gang members using firearms – we will come after you, and we will bring you to justice.”

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