Scotland Yard begins Autumn Nights campaign

The Metropolitan Police have begun their annual autumn campaign to crack down on violence and anti-social behaviour, with a range of operational activity planned for London over the next three weeks.

Dubbed the Autumn Nights campaign, the programme this year will target violence in particular, with officers active across the capital at a time of year when crime rates typically increase.

Met Commander Jane Connors said the period around Halloween and Bonfire Night, when increased numbers of people took to the streets after dark, was a time in which many people felt vulnerable.

“We know that traditionally at this time of year we see an increase in anti-social behaviour and we start to see a small rise in the levels of violence,” Ms Connors told PA news agency.

“So what we’re here to do is make sure that we reassure the communities that we’re here to keep them safe, give them crime prevention advice, and make sure we stay on top of any anti-social behaviour and any violence, which is our number one priority.

“What that includes is local safe neighbourhood officers, who will be going around to make sure they give crime-prevention advice, speaking to people who may be vulnerable or scared, particularly at Halloween and Bonfire Night. That’s the time of year we get anti-social behaviour, and people do get worried.”

Officers would also increase their presence through targeted patrols in areas expected to be particularly affected by violence and anti-social behaviour, Ms Connors said.

“We will also have our violence suppression units out,” she said. “They will doing patrols again, providing reassurance, but also targeting some of our high harm offenders, those people we know who carry knives, those people who commit robberies, and those people who draw vulnerable young people into dealing drugs, (or) sexual exploitation.”

Ms Connors said the campaign had consistently proven effective, “not just for reducing the crime and the anti-social behaviour, but the engagement we get with our communities”.

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