A knife crime crackdown in Woolwich town centre resulted in 20 people being arrested and multiple knives found in hidden spots.

The three day operation from June 11-13 had council staff work with the police in the town centre to make multiple arrests as well as use stop and search.

Eight of the 20 arrests were for possession with intent to supply drugs and four for having a knife.

23 stop and searches were carried out, as well as ten addresses were searched after the arrests were made, with seven knives recovered at various hidden locations around the town centre.

Councillor Jackie Smith said: “We are hugely concerned with the upward trend in knife crime in the Royal Borough which is in line with the rise across London.

“There was a total of 160 knife crimes committed across the borough last year which is why our joint work with the police on our Knife Action Plan is now our top priority.

“Knife crime has devastating consequences for all our communities but tragically young people are so often the victims and the perpetrators.

“We are committed to addressing the complex causes of knife crime and youth violence which is why our plan includes both Police work to target offenders as well as engagement with young people and their families to act upon their views on the issues involved.”

Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson said: “Officers utilised a number of tactics and ensured the local community were fully engaged with throughout the operation, thus the police receiving positive support from local residents and businesses.

“This operation is ongoing and over the coming weeks officers will be completing further activity to combat serious youth violence and knife crime.”