Search

Police team up with community to search for hidden weapons in Ilford town centre

PUBLISHED: 09:41 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 22 January 2018

Redbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep.

Redbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep.

Archant

Hiding places for knives and weapons in Redbridge are running out with police officers and residents on patrol.

Redbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep. Sgt Caroline Clark looking around the LibraryRedbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep. Sgt Caroline Clark looking around the Library

The Recorder joined officers and volunteers on a weapons sweep in Ilford town centre on Thursday, January 18.

Community weapons sweeps have been taking place under the umbrella of Operation Sceptre - which aims to tackle spiralling knife crime in London - with 7,600 sweeps carried out since the operation’s re-launch in April.

Sgt Caroline Clark led the sweep from Clements Road to the Kenneth More Theatre, including the parking area in Janice Mews, through the Mildmay Road underpass and along Winston Way.

She said: “The aim of the sweep is to get together with the local community and to send out a really strong message that we are anti-knife crime.

Redbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep.Redbridge police, council staff and volunteers out around Ilford town centre on a knife sweep.

“To start looking for weapons, making sure that those people that might stash weapons are aware that we may come across them.”

As well as knives, police are also on look out for ‘intended weapons’ - which describes items not built for causing harm but are used to do so.

This includes baseball bats, bicycle spokes, metal chains, hammers, tools, wooden handles, belts with heavy buckles, sharpened poles stuck vertically into ground, stashed for a later gang fight or attack.

In this instance, no knives or obvious intended weapons were found.

Redbridge Enforcement Officer Lee Williams uncovered a metal rod stashed inside bedding left behind the Kenneth More Theatre.

”The weapons sweeps can be very effective. Its a bit of a luck of the draw. Sometimes we come across quite a few items. It’s mainly about the message that we send,” Sgt Clark added.

Officers also drew attention to the abundance of broken bottles which could easily be used for violent purposes.

PC Lee Smart said: “From our point of view if everyone within the borough of Redbridge took responsible steps to deposit their litter - especially that could be used in a violent way - it would help hugely.

“I’m talking about poles, fence panels with nails in, glass bottles.”

Weapons searches are open to anyone to participate in, with the next due to take place in March.

Latest Ilford Stories

14:04

A teenager has been shot in the face in Ilford.

11:00

Essex Senior League: Saffron Walden Town 5 Ilford 1

09:51

FA Vase third round: Redbridge 0 Chertsey Town 5

08:00

I have never known such uncertainty in politics.

00:34

Clayhall residents were told to stay in their homes after four men armed with “crowbars and a bottle of acid were on the loose”.

Yesterday, 18:12

Josh Staunton was dismissed for Shaymen in 35th minute, but Essex club still unable to win

Anderson strike inspires Hammers but they are left to cling on at the end

Yesterday, 16:59

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Munns 60) Halifax Town 1 (Clarke 80)

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now