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Armed police carry out weapons sweep across Brent today

PUBLISHED: 19:05 10 December 2015 | UPDATED: 19:26 10 December 2015

The Stonebridge Estate had the highest number of recorded gunshots in the last year

The Stonebridge Estate had the highest number of recorded gunshots in the last year

Archant

Armed officers swooped on the Stonebridge Estate and other gang crime hotspots across Brent today to carry out a weapons sweep.

Police will be carrying out targeted raids on firearms suspects this week as part of Trident gang command's Operation Kestrel.Police will be carrying out targeted raids on firearms suspects this week as part of Trident gang command's Operation Kestrel.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, who is leading a week-long crackdown on firearms across London codenamed Operation Kestrel, told the Times: “We have intensified activity this week especially on estates where we know shots have been fired as we want to reassure the public after Paris that armed officers are always patrolling the streets ready to respond if there is a shooting.

“However, this is mainly intended as a deterrent and we don’t want to upset anyone.”

The raids came as new Met Police figures showed the estate had the highest recorded number of gunshots across London this year, with 16 reports of lethal and non-lethal firearms such as airguns discharged since October 31, 2014.

Det Ch Supt Southworth confirmed operation Kestrel teams had carried out raids including armed response vehicles on properties across Stonebridge.

He added the ongoing operation was targeting areas across London with high levels of firearms discharge and warned gang members looking to hide weapons “there is no safe place for your gun”.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Kestrel is a Met wide operation that is already having a huge impact and has so far resulted in 12 firearms being taken off our streets, over ten kilos of drugs seized and eight arrests. It is drawing on the expertise of a range of different units and that involves firearms officers.

“We make no apology for deploying any specialist officer that we think can help get guns off our streets, reduce crime, arrest criminals and ultimately make London a safer place. The best way for us to recover guns off our streets is for the community to help us by providing intelligence - tell us what you know anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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