Operation Trident may be ditched in spending cuts

The police unit dedicated to investigating violent crime in London’s black communities is at risk of being disbanded because of government cuts, the Guardian has learned.

Operation Trident, set up 12 years ago to tackle a rise in gun attacks among London’s African-Caribbean community, may be merged with other Metropolitan police crime squads following the comprehensive spending review.

A high-ranking officer raised that possibility at a meeting of Trident’s independent advisory group earlier this month, a senior police source said.

The disclosure prompted anger from leading black figures who believe that Trident, backed by high-profile campaigns and a dedicated intelligence unit, has improved the often distrustful relationship between police and black people in London.

Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said any plans to scrap Operation Trident would be “ludicrous and dangerous”.

She said: “I have great respect for the work that Trident does. Rather than scrapping Operation Trident, the Met should be extending its methods to other communities with similar issues. Gun crime is on the increase in London, and in my constituency of Hackney, Operation Trident plays a huge part in solving crimes on a day-to-day basis. Cutting backs its efforts would be a huge loss and will put Londoners at greater risk of further highly dangerous crimes,” she said.

See full story here http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/21/operation-trident-ditched-spending-cuts

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