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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
Ad campaign to target gun crime
Click here to see one of the new posters in full.

Police in London have unveiled a new campaign to cut gun crime among the city's black communities.

Posters and press advertisements for Operation Trident will encourage people to phone in anonymously with information on gun crimes.

The family of one murder victim have also taken part in a radio advert.

Officers hope the campaign will help maintain a downward trend in shootings and murders investigated by Operation Trident.

At the official launch of the campaign at Scotland Yard on Tuesday, Commander Cressida Dick said over the past two years Operation Trident had achieved a 23% reduction in shooting murders within London's black communities.

A simple phone call can really make a difference and save somebody's life
Lee Jasper, Trident Independent Advisory Group
So far this year 10 people had been shot dead, compared with 16 in 2002 and 13 in 2003.

Commander Dick said some of the success was due to good intelligence and investigative work.

But she gave a large amount of the credit to the increased clear up rate to greater co-operation from members of the public.

"We strive to increase the community's confidence in Trident. Trident would be nothing without the support and involvement of the community," she said.

Radio advert

The chair of Operation Trident's Independent Advisory Group Lee Jasper told BBC News Online that increased willingness to speak out has been used as the basis of the new campaign.

See another of the new posters

"The ads are suggesting to communities that a simple phone call can really make a difference and save somebody's life. So it plays upon that theme.

"Talking to the brothers, sisters, mothers and girlfriends of the men of violence has generally been our target audience," Mr Jasper said.

Alongside posters and press adverts, the campaign also includes flyers to be handed out at nightclubs and the launch of a new Operation Trident website.

As well as the backing of celebrities the campaign has been supported by the family of Pauline Peart, a banker from Essex shot to death in 2003, whose family appear in a radio advert.

Earlier this month Pauline Peart's killers were sentenced to life in prison.

'Made in Britain'

Operation Trident figures show, in spite of high profile cases like the death of Pauline Peart and the shooting of an 18-month old baby in Hackney last week, gun crime within London's black population is falling.

Critics say in view of the statistics Trident's continued concentration on gun crime in the black community is excessive.

But the continuing concentration on the black community was defended by Detective Chief superintendent John Coles, Trident's operational head.

Mr Coles is also responsible for Operation Trafalgar which focuses on gun crime in other communities.

He said the figures spoke for themselves.

"For every 80 Trident shootings there are only 30 Trafalgar shootings. That is in all other communities in London," he said.

Lee Jasper also gave his backing to Trident's continuing focus on black people.

He said though the popular media image of violent "Jamaican Yardies" was largely fictional there was a continuing issue of gun violence among black youths .

"This is a problem that has "made in Britain" stamped through it," Mr Jasper said.


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