Weapons recovered in cross-borough crack-down on gangs

A CRACK-down on gang and youth violence has led to the seizure of four dangerous firearms as part of a new cross-border police operation.

Officers from Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Newham, Havering and Tower Hamlets have teamed up and shared intelligence with local authorities to target known young offenders in their new initiative, codenamed Operation Armour.

One of the mission’s first successes was the seizure of four firearms from gang members in Forest Gate, including a 9mm re-bore, 38 revolver, double barrel shot gun and pump action shot gun.

The number of teenage gun victims in the capital was 145 this calendar year, while 1,230 teenagers were victims of knife-related crimes.

DCI Bernie Galopin, who coordinates the operation, said: “This operation is designed to combat the criminal networks that operate cross border in east London.

“Their activities put the lives of vulnerable young people at risk every day and can tear local communities apart.

“The majority of young people in east London are valued members of society but a small minority choose a life of violence that blights the life of their own families and those that live around them.

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“We will use every resource and tool available to us to track down these criminals and bring them to justice.”

But she also said the message of Operation Armour was that there is an alternative to gang involvement and added: “With the support and help of the wider community we can combat violence and look to a more peaceful future.”

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