ALMOST 250 fugitives wanted for “high harm” offences of domestic violence and child abuse have been rounded up by Britain’s biggest police force in the last month.
The blitz on bullies and abusers at large, has been carried out by 12 new Predatory Offender Units set up across the capital by the Met Police to wage war against those who inflict human suffering.
They are targeting offenders wanted for crimes including domestic violence and child abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
More than 240 arrests of wanted predators and bullies have been made since November 2 – 161 of them for domestic abuse.
The creation of the new teams comes amid a 7.1 per cent rise in domestic violence since March, fuelled by Covid lockdowns.
More than 30,000 people in total have been arrested by the Met alone since March. Police have also warned about a rise in online sexual offences against children in that period.
Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said “Domestic abuse affects people from all walks of life and deeply impacts victims and their families.”
She went on: “It is an under-reported and largely hidden crime type and there is often an overlap between domestic abuse and violence.
“Since March we have been very much alive to the potential risk that Coronavirus restrictions and lack of contact with others could pose to those in dangerous domestic settings.
“While we saw a reduction in street crimes and violence through the early Covid period, we sadly saw an increase in other criminality including domestic abuse and online child sexual abuse.
While we saw a reduction in street crimes and violence through the early Covid period, we sadly saw an increase in other criminality including domestic abuse and online child sexual abuse
Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick
“There are those out there who have used these circumstances to carry out horrific, life changing crimes.”
Meanwhile, it emerged that online dating partners suspected of having a history of domestic violence are being checked by police under Clare’s Law protections.
The Met stressed it does not randomly scan people planning to meet through any dating apps, like Tindr.
Met Acting Detective Superintendent William Hodgkinson said: “It is not going to be appropriate as a scanning or risk assessment tool.
“We would only disclose if there is already an existing relationship albeit this does not need to be a long established one.”
The Met said Clare’s Law requests from people worried about someone they know, have gone up.
Clare’s Law came into force in 2014 as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and allows people to request police checks on anyone they suspect of being capable of harm.
It is named after 36-year-old Clare Wood, murdered in 2009 by her violent ex-boyfriend at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester.
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Acting Det Supt Hodkinson said: “We have a series of procedures and processes to make sure it’s a safe disclosure.
“The partner does not have to reside with (the person making the request).
“It could be you’re considering starting a new relationship but you have a concern.”