Search media releases

Officers arrest 31 and seize weapons following week long operation to tackle knife and gang crime around Stratford station

Op Engulf 1.JPG

Op Engulf 1

View | Download (JPG - 12 KB)

Officers from British Transport Police have carried out a week long operation in and around Stratford station to combat criminal activity and knife crime.

Operation Engulf, a joint operation between BTP officers and officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), started on Sunday 28 January.

The operation saw 31 people arrested and over 10 weapons seized.

Officers used the powers of Section 60, which gave uniformed officers the legal right to stop and search people in specified areas.

Officers had the authorisation to stop any pedestrian or any vehicle which they believed gave them cause for concern. They also had the right to search for offensive weapons or bladed or sharp weapons or instruments.

Under Section 60, 27 people were arrested and over 10 weapons seized.

BTP officer in charge of the operation, Chief Inspector John Loveless, said: “The Stratford transport hub is more than just a transport link. It is a conduit to provide people with access to not just all of London, the east and south east of England; but entertainment venues, as well as hundreds of shops, restaurants and coffee shops.

Over the past eight months criminal activity and anti-social behaviour has increased in and around the stations making it difficult for passengers, commuters and staff member to go about their day to day life.

“We’ve also seen and had intelligence that certain groups and individuals are using the stations to get to other parts of London and the surrounding counties to carry out criminal activity.

“Our main aim during the week and in the weeks which will follow is to create a hostile environment for criminals and deter and detect any criminal activity, but also to provide reassurance to law abiding citizens and rail staff who use the transport network to go about their daily life.

“During the week we saw some heinous weapons, which could have caused others significant injury if they had not been seized. There is no place for such weapons to be carried in any public place and we will do all we can to ensure that these monstrous weapons are off our streets and transport networks."

Ch Insp Loveless said: “Our work is not complete, we are determined to make the transport network a safe and secure environment for those who are using it and will continue to work with our colleagues from the MPS to stamp out knife crime and bring offenders to justice, putting them before the courts at the earliest opportunity.

“No one should feel scared or intimidated when travelling through or working at any of the Stratford stations and anyone believing they can carry weapons, display anti-social behaviour or embark in other criminality without consequence; should think again."

MPS Inspector Adam Brown said: “Stratford Safer Neighbourhood Team and Stratford Town centre team joined the BTP in a proactive operation targeting offenders in and around Stratford station and Stratford Broadway.

There were a number of arrests for offensive weapons, drugs, theft and wanted offenders. Whilst we work together with our colleagues from the BTP every day, a focused operation in one of London’s busiest transport hubs has brought a number of offenders to justice and shown we will do all we can to bring justice to those who disrupt and engage in criminality.” 

If you see anything which doesn’t look right or anything that concerns you please call us on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016. We will have officers out and about at the stations so please approach them and talk to them. We are here to help.

Op Engulf 2.JPG

Op Engulf 2

View | Download (JPG - 20 KB)
Op Engulf 3.JPG

Op Engulf 3

View | Download (JPG - 20 KB)
Op Engulf 4.JPG

Op Engulf 4

View | Download (JPG - 44 KB)
Op Engulf 5.JPG

Op Engulf 5

View | Download (JPG - 15 KB)
Op Engulf 6.JPG

Op Engulf 6

View | Download (JPG - 11 KB)

Share release