A new specialist police team which solely focuses on violent crime has visited Lewisham after a spike in stabbings.

The Violent Crime Task Force, which was set up in April, also attended Greenwich and Southwark to speak to members of the public.

As well as talking to worried residents, officers conducted weapons sweeps and metal bars were recovered in Lewisham which police believe were being used for crime.

Superintendent Darius Hemmatpour told News Shopper: “Issues were raised by local officers and we need to listen to them.

“They have asked for additional resources to support them. There have been several stabbings in the last few weeks in Lewisham.

“We are picking out such areas with emerging issues. Local officers have said it would be a great value to them for us to be visible.”

News Shopper recently reported how Lewisham police bemoaned a lack of officers after a night of crime, which included a stabbing.

READ MORE - 'Not enough of us': Lewisham police bemoan lack of officers after night of crime

The Violent Crime Task Force rode in a long convoy of police vehicles across the three boroughs as part of the operation.

Superintendent Hemmatpour added: “The purpose is for officers to be visible and engage with the community and local councillors to give some high-profile reassurance.

“We are listening and we understand the issues. We are also raising awareness around the danger of carrying knives and hopefully steering people away from that.

“It has been really positive. We are out in force speaking openly to people about their concerns.”

He also encouraged people to contact the violent crime team at any time if they wanted to raise concerns.

"We are part of the community so please talk to us. We want to make this community a safer place," he said.

According to the Met Police crime data dashboard, there have been 4,508 violent attacks in Lewisham reported between January and June this year.