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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 15:16 GMT
Force crackdown on violent crime
Police targeted 300 addresses in the campaign's first stage
The Metropolitan Police force has launched a crackdown on gun and knife crime and alcohol-fuelled violence.

Scotland Yard said the new campaign would target the "men of violence" across the city.

Police officers targeted 300 addresses on Tuesday and arrested 75 people in the first-stage of the week-long campaign to halt rising crime levels.

The force will also form a new Violent Crime Directorate (VCD) to help fight other crimes such as sexual assaults.

'Violent people'

In the 12 months up until the end of February, violent crime in London rose by 2.5%, while robbery - often involving the theft of mobile phones and MP3 players - rose by 14%.

Police believe targeting networks of criminals who commit a range of offences - from domestic abuse to street fights and muggings - will have a greater impact on crime figures.

If you are engaged in violence we are after you
Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin
Commanding officer Steve Allen said: "These are the violent people, these are the people who hurt, who harm, who destroy families and destroy lives and we are going to get them.

"We know that violent crime has gone up and that Londoners are concerned about violence in the capital. The VCD is our pro-active response to tackling it."

Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin added: "One of the key messages is that the thing Londoners want us most to tackle is violence. That often goes unreported and unrecorded.

"If you are engaged in violence we are after you and the Violent Crime Directorate is going to lead the charge."

The new VCD will start with 147 staff and will include the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit.

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