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Getting guns of the streets
Guardian reporter Megan Reynolds and photographer Paul Haigh joined a police operation and witnessed a dramatic arrest.
An armed officer from Central Operations secures the vehicle
HEAVY policing is at work this month in Waltham Forest.
Local officers are supported by the armed wing of the Metropolitan Police, the Central Operations team and the Territorial Support Group.
In the wake of a shooting in Capworth Street, Leyton, and an armed burglary at a house in Leytonstone, police are determined to stop gun crime in the borough.
Det Supt Paul Rickett and Sgt James Middlebrook are managing the tactical side of operations and took us around crime hotspots in the south of the borough to spot vehicles believed to be carrying firearms.
An undercover police car spotted a wanted' car in Leytonstone and the specialist firearms squad followed it to Wanstead Flats, where a marked police car safely closed in on it and two unmarked police cars penned it in.
The firearms squad then went in to make sure anyone tempted to bring out a gun would be deterred.
Waltham Forest Det Insp Chris Robson said: "These people do this on such a regular basis, they are phenomenally professional.
"We have evidence that suggests offenders may have firearms and the firearms squad will not leave until they are absolutely sure there is no threat of firearms."
When the squad had made the area safe, the Territorial Support Group moved in along with Sgt Middlebrook and Det Supt Rickett.
Three people from the local area were arrested and charged.
A man was arrested for possession of points and blades and possession of drugs, a second man for possession of points and blades, and a woman for possession of drugs with intent to supply.
Knives, cash and a large quantity of hash was seized.
Mr Rickett said: "We are classing it as a massive success because certainly one of the people arrested was of significant interest to us, so it was a great result."