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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
New drive against gun crime
Operation Trident has investigated over 100 shootings this year
A new campaign to highlight the impact of gun crime on London's black communities has begun.

The drive by the Metropolitan Police Operation Trident team, which investigates shooting in London's Afro-Caribbean community, will target the five boroughs with the highest levels of gun related violence.

The adverts to be shown in Brent and Haringey in north London, Southwark and Lambeth in the south and Hackney in east London, show the effects shootings have on victims and their families.

It also hopes to persuade people they should give the police information about those using guns.

This year officers from Operation Trident have investigated more than 100 shootings, including 11 murders - but that represents a 27% decrease on last year, officers claim.

It has successfully seized over 94 firearms, and 1,906 rounds of ammunition since January.

Some black families have to make a choice to go out and to visit them in prison or at their graveside, it's as stark as that sometimes
Lee Jasper, Operation Trident adviser

But Lee Jasper, chairman of the Trident Independent Advisory Group, said the main problem was converted weapons.

More than 300 have been seized in London this year.

"You can go into a sports shop, buy your tracksuit, buy your trainers and pick up a starting pistol which can be converted in half an hour", he said.

Trident's new head, Commander Cressida Dick, appealed directly to relatives of the "men of violence".

"I particularly appeal to those close to the gunmen - to sisters, wives, mothers, daughters - to come forward with information and perhaps prevent a murder or shooting," she said.

Lee Jasper added: "Some black families have to make a choice to go out and to visit them in prison or at their graveside, it's as stark as that sometimes."

The Met has in the past had several advertising campaigns trying to prevent the rise of gun crime.

It says members of the black community have been more willing to come forward with Trident now having an 80% clear-up rate for murders compared with 25% two years ago.

BBC London's Guy Smith
"Norman Francis was shot dead apparently for wolf-whistling at a neighbour's girlfriend."

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