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1200 Violent Criminals Arrested While Self-isolating During Coronavirus Lockdown

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More than 1,200 violent criminals have been arrested by police gangbusters exploiting the coronavirus lockdown to catch them self-isolating indoors.

Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick said the “horrible” effects of Covid-19 had also presented a “silver lining” for clamping down on dangerous criminals. Hundreds of cops have been unleashed to tackle some of the capital’s most violent criminals and are rounding them up in isolation at home.

A mountain of drugs, firearms, including machine guns, a Lamborghini sports car and even a London black cab used for running contraband has been seized. Among the 1,200 arrested were fugitives who have been wanted for years. Met boss Ms Dick said many of them were “very dangerous and high harm” individuals.

Cops have also drawn up a target list of 1,000 of the capital’s worst villains still at large and will be visiting them twice at home to warn them they are on the radar. The crooks will be given the chance to turn their back on crime post-lockdown – or face being arrested and going to jail.

It is one of a raft of innovative measures introduced by the Met to exploit crime-fighting opportunities presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 250 crime hotspots have also been identified and will be subject to extra patrols and random swoops. Extra police resources have been freed up to tackle gangs following a major drop in crime, which has plunged by more than a third since lockdown began on March 27.

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Knife crime has dropped by a half and blade offences involving youngsters by 69% while personal robberies have gone down by 63%. Demand for policing public events has ceased and cops in isolation are carrying out paperwork in order to allow frontline cops freedom to tackle criminals.

Ms Dick said: “It is such an awful time for the country and it has been horrible for so many people. But there are undoubtedly some silver linings.” She added: “When the streets emptied, crime levels dropped as the vast majority of people stayed at home. During this period that Met has capitalised on this unprecedented shift in crime and demand to identify and target offenders responsible for the most serious crimes, particularly violence.”

Since 13 March, cops in the capital officers have seized 444 knives, 322 other types of offensive weapons, 106 firearms and made 2,478 other seizures – mostly drugs.

Photo Credit: Getty

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