Over 5,000 arrests made and 650 weapons seized since launch of West Yorkshire Police violent crime operation

There have been over 5,000 arrests made and over 650 weapons seized in the region since West Yorkshire Police launched an operation to target serious violence.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 4:45 pm
photos: West Yorkshire Police

Operation Jemlock was launched in April 2019 in a bid to tackle serious violent crime in the region.

In the 21 months since its launch, West Yorkshire communities have recorded 2,387 less victims of violent crime compared to the same time period before the operation existed.

Over 5,200 arrests have been made and over 650 weapons have been seized by Operation Jemlock officers.

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All knife crime in West Yorkshire is down by 11.8 per cent which is 538 fewer victims than before the operation, with the victims of knife crime aged under 25 down by 15.4 per cent which translates to 258 fewer victims.

Robbery is down by 1200 victims which is an 18.9 per cent decrease from before the operation, and robbery involving sharp objects has reduced by 24 per cent with 391 fewer victims.

Superintendent Damon Solley leads on violent crime reduction and Operation Jemlock in West Yorkshire. He said: “It is fast approaching two years since Operation Jemlock was established. In that time there have been some excellent reductions in incidents of knife crime and violence with weapons in West Yorkshire.

“Knife crime is a devastating type of crime which causes so much harm not only to victims but their loved ones too.

“Our measure of success is primarily to reduce the number of victims we see. We cannot completely eradicate this type of crime and it still happens all too often.

“However, the Operation has made a significant impact in reducing those numbers of victims and I am determined to reduce them still further.

“In the last 21 months, the Jemlock teams working together with local officers have seized over 650 weapons and made over 5200 arrests.

“I want to pay tribute to the hard work of those on Operation Jemlock and all West Yorkshire officers and staff for achieving these reductions so far.

“Recently there were some significant seizures of weapons removed from the streets of West Yorkshire.

“Weapons like these have no place in the hands of those who wish to cause harm to others and their removal makes all of us that bit safer.

“Operation Jemlock will continue to respond to incidents of violence and to locate and arrest those who are wanted for offences of violence.

“We also continue to work closely with the Violence Reduction Unit, who provide support for local initiatives to deter young people away from violent crime."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “538 fewer victims of knife and violent crime is a substantial result, and that also means 538 less individuals, families, friends and wider communities being affected by the consequences of these awful incidents.

“I want to thank everyone involved in this ongoing operation, they have undoubtedly made a significant difference and it’s fantastic to be able to so clearly quantify the results of their positive work throughout West Yorkshire.

“Operation Jemlock is working closely alongside the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which I officially launched last year, and together they are helping to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

“Early intervention and prevention work is vital; people need to understand that carrying a knife or weapon can lead to serious, often devastating consequences and destroy lives.

"Collectively we will do all we can to prevent people from making such harmful decisions in the first place through joint activity, research and initiatives with our partners in many different settings across West Yorkshire.”

Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said: “These reducing trends, particularly around knife crime, are really encouraging and represent the impact of a sustained partnership approach to addressing serious violent crime.

“Ongoing enforcement activity, coupled with the VRU strategy of early intervention and prevention means we can make lasting change across our communities.

“Through our public heath led model spanning numerous agencies, we are already seeing positive outcomes from a number of locally based projects.

“Likewise, the VRU investment we have made into tackling the root causes of violent crime is changing behaviours and perceptions on the ground.”