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  1. Met deploys extra officers where Covid rates highest

    Police in Soho

    Extra police officers are being deployed to boroughs in London where coronavirus transmission rates are highest, the Met Police has said.

    Hammersmith and Fulham and Hackney have seen extra patrols this week as part of the force's approach to clamping down on breaches of Covid regulations in the capital.

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 response, said the plan "does not mean that other areas of London will see a reduction in existing patrols" but were a response to "an increase in reported cases".

    “I know the vast majority of Londoners are sticking to the rules which are designed to keep everyone in our communities safe.

    "But, there is a small minority who have a disregard for the health of our communities and it is those individuals who we will be targeting with these new patrols," he said.

    You can find details about rates of transmission for all the boroughs here.

  2. Drug offences up while most other crimes drop - ONS

    Sarah Lee

    BBC London


    Drug offences rose by 30% in England and Wales during lockdown while most other types of crime recorded plummeted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, official figures show.

    Police-recorded drug crimes in England and Wales rose from 44,064 in April to June 2019 to 57,132 during the same period this year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    In London, drug crimes increased by 43%. This may be down to the steep rises in April and May 2020 in the number of stop and searches conducted by the Met Police relating to drugs.

    The figures are an exception to the general trend, which shows the levels of most other types of crime falling as the pandemic took hold, according to an ONS report published on Wednesday.

    Overall, the total number of crimes recorded by police in England and Wales fell by 4% to around 5.8 million in the year to June.

    London saw and overall 27% decrease in crimes (excluding fraud and computer misuse).

    Offences involving knives or sharp instruments in the capital also dropped 6%.

    Though homicides using knives or sharp instruments increased from 69 to 79, a 14% increase.

    Image caption: Homicides using knives or sharp instruments increased 14% in London

    Billy Gazard, from the ONS centre for crime and justice, said the drop in crime levels were "mainly driven by changes in society after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were put in place."

    He added: "The most substantial reductions were seen in theft and robbery offences during the April to June quarter.

    "There are indications that crime levels in June were moving back towards pre-lockdown levels."

    But he said police recording of drug offences "increased sharply throughout the April to June period, reflecting proactive police activity as overall crime levels reduced".

    Anti-social behaviour also rose, he said, adding that this included reported breaches of lockdown restrictions to police.

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  4. Met launches autumn anti-social behaviour 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.

    The Autumn Nights campaign 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 said.

    "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.