Police Claim Success in Catalytic Converter Theft Crackdown

Operation Ajax saw day and night patrols in unmarked vehicles

A catalytic converter
A catalytic converter

The local police command unit which covers the borough of Wandsworth is claiming significant success in the fight against catalytic converter theft.

They have concluded a month-long operation to disrupt and prevent this type of crime in the area.

Officers from the Met in South West London have been working day and night shifts in marked and unmarked police vehicles as part of Operation Ajax. The aim of the operation was to reduce theft from vehicles, and to catch those who steal catalytic convertors.

The police say that the operation resulted in a 38% drop in catalytic converter thefts and a drop in theft from motor vehicle offences by 11% in January. The operation took place across the entirety of Merton, Kingston, Wandsworth and Richmond boroughs.

Wandsworth had 108 incidents of theft from motor vehicle in January - barring April 2020 when the country was in total lockdown, this is the lowest monthly figure for the borough since February 2015.

The operation included an incident where officers successfully recovered a stolen Range Rover five minutes after being stolen as well as an arrest for possession with intent to supply drugs where over 50 bags of drugs were found along with a significant amount of cash.

In total, over the one month spanning January and February, the small team undertook three moped pursuits, two vehicle pursuits, five arrests for a variety of offences, 26 stop and searches and 25 vehicle stops.

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March 2, 2022