Operation Blizzard

Westminster Police Christmas Operation Blizzard commences on Thursday 23 November and will finish on Sunday 7 January 2018. The operation has six key purposes and the overarching intention is the reassurance of the community, businesses, and those that visit and frequent the West End including Oxford Street & Regent Street.

The purpose is to provide a safe environment for the public whilst also trying to prevent and detect crime, taking all reasonable steps to apprehend offenders if a crime is committed; prevent public disorder; minimise disruption to the local and business communities; to provide crime prevention advice, information and assistance to the public and also provide security commensurate to the threat level.

AIMS:

  • Protect vulnerable individuals
  • Prevent and detect theft from the person, violence with injury, robbery, knife crime and moped enabled crime including smash & grab offences
  • Reduce youth violence and gang related offences
  • Reduce anti-social behaviour and associated crime
  • Reduce retail theft
  • Maintain public confidence and service delivery by effectively responding to community priorities
  • Prevent terrorism.

The operation will concentrate on late turn and night duty shifts conducting high visibility patrols in key areas including:

  • Oxford Street
  • Regent Street
  • Bond Street
  • Mayfair
  • The Strand
  • Covent Garden
  • Shaftesbury Avenue
  • Soho
  • Piccadilly.

In addition to local officers, the operation will be supported by a number of central resources including:

  • Mounted branch, territorial support units and armed response vehicles will be tasked and patrol key areas;
  • Project Servator, the MPS’ response to protect iconic sites and vulnerable premises from terrorism, will provide Counter Terrorism patrols in a high visibility capacity at specific areas and sites based on the most up to date intelligence to prevent and detect any suspicious activity.

TACTICS:

  • Knife Arch deployments across the West End at key times to detect people bringing weapons into the West End;
  • Anti-social behaviour days of action every Tuesday in conjunction with partners;
  • Licensing visits to pubs, bars and restaurants to increase visibility inside venues to prevent offences;
  • Use of Dot Matrix systems across the West End providing key messages and crime prevention advice;
  • Work in partnership with stakeholders to distribute crime prevention advice utilising Ambassadors, Wardens and Security teams as well as Volunteer police cadets and through social media;
  • Use of police dispersal powers at weekends to reduce anti-social behaviour and low level criminality;
  • Night duty deployments in plain clothes and uniform targeting robbery offences and nominal;
  • Working with British Transport Police, Roads Transport Policing Command and transport partners to ensure the safety of those using transport hubs;
  • Weekly meeting to review intelligence and returns to ensure effective tasking of resources in accordance with operational aims.