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A major new crackdown by the Metropolitan Police Service against robbers, burglars and violent criminals begins today, Wednesday 8th June.

Operation Target, which is one of the most significant initiatives of its kind ever conducted by the MPS is a renewed drive to tackle crime against people and property in London leading to significant, long term reductions.

“Operation Target is to be the largest and sustained crackdown against crimes such as robbery, burglary and violence ever conducted by the MPS.”

The sustained campaign, which kicks off today with a series of operational activities, increased patrols and enforcements, brings together all the Met’s specialist resources, skills and people to support local police tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, allowing the public to go about their daily lives feeling more confident and safe.

Specialist MPS teams, such as the Flying Squad, Traffic and Mounted Branch will be supporting borough policing units to deliver the operation. Covert and overt tactics, and intelligence-led interventions will be used. Specialist investigation teams will help trace and arrest wanted or suspected robbers and burglars, while increased presence on the streets will be achieved through extra uniformed patrols at key areas.

Analysis shows the initial ‘Target’ areas, while geographically making up just 2% of London, constitute around nearly a third of all London’s street robberies and most serious violence; 15% of residential burglaries and 20% of non-res burglaries.

As well as achieving immediate crime reductions, the operation intends to embed a number of effective long term crime prevention strategies to ensure there is sustained crime reduction in these areas. The overall result will be an improvement in public confidence and feelings of safety in the targeted areas.

Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson, head of Territorial Policing for the MPS said: “The MPS is here for London, and to help keep communities safe we are enhancing our efforts to tackle crimes against people and property.

“Operation Target is to be the largest and sustained crackdown against crimes such as robbery, burglary and violence ever conducted by the MPS. While robbery and burglary are still relatively low in comparison to previous years we are determined to cut these offences further.

“The public can support this operation and help themselves from becoming a victim of crime by taking some basic prevention measures.

“By bringing together borough based knowledge and expertise with the skills of our specialist units we will make a real and sustainable difference, allowing people to go about their daily lives feeling more confident and safe.”

The officer leading Operation Target, Commander Maxine de Brunner added: “Target is a long-term drive to reduce crime and keep it down. The operation is due to last for at least six months and will see the relentless deployment of our specialist assets, resources, tactics and skills in areas which suffer disproportionate levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “We’re cracking down on the perilous criminality that can devastate people’s everyday lives and there is no room for complacency. Burglars, robbers and drug dealers should take heed as their crime funded life styles may soon be ending. I’ve seen first hand today the immense hard work that goes into carrying out policing operations and I have every confidence that Target will be a complete success. The raids this morning will have an immediate effect on the hundreds of local residents who have been living under a cloud of fear.”