Petty crime wiped out in London pre Olympics
Sat, 30 Jun 2012 12:09p.m.
A week long operation by London police against organised criminal networks they suspect of planning to use the Olympic Games to step up thefts and burglaries, has resulted in 80 arrests, the Metropolitan Police Service said.
The operation was targetting pickpockets, bag-snatchers and burglars and was timed to reduce the harm these gangs can do during a period when London will have hundreds of thousands more people in the city than normal.
At its peak, Operation Urus had more than 400 officers conducting raids and making arrests across the capital on a range of offences including theft of high value mobile phones, tablet computers, cash-machine fraud, pickpocketing and handling stolen goods.
These sorts of crimes are referred to by the police as "low level", but as Detective Chief Inspector John Cushion said, they can do a lot of harm during a time when London is looking to showcase itself.
"We refer to it as low level, but it is a multi-million pound business. People do this for a job and it is a concern to the management of police across London and it is happening on a large scale, especially with the Olympics on the way, we are going to get more of this occuring and this is an opportunity to act as a deterrent to those developing those sort of crimes," he said.
In a raid in Camden, north London, officers bashed in the door of a flat and seized a large amount of counterfeit money.
The Met has said there will be a significant amount of extra policing in the period leading up to the Olympic and Paralympics and throughout the Games themselves.
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