Trident Gang Crime Command
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Operation Trident or Trident, was a Metropolitan Police Service unit targeting gun crime in London, with special attention being placed on shootings relating to the illegal sale of drugs, and crime in Afro-Caribbean communities. The initiative was set up in March 1998 following a series of shootings in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Brent. The Chairman of the Trident Independent Advisory Group (IAG) is Claudia Webbe.
The perceived importance of Trident's mission was such that it was established as a dedicated Operational Command Unit called the Trident Operational Command Unit within the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Directorate. In 2004 it expanded with the formation of Operation Trafalgar which investigates all other non-fatal shootings in London.
The campaign uses gun amnesties and advertisements encouraging people to phone Crimestoppers with information related to gun crime. These advertisements appear in the media, nightclubs, on petrol pumps, telephone boxes and on the radio.
As part of Specialist Crime Directorate, Trident is also known as SCD8 and officers within the command have referred to themselves as "the Ocho".
In 2004 16 of the initiative's 300 officers were themselves black.
In 2006, Trident officers raided the home of vintage gun enthusiast Mick Shepherd, seizing much of his collection. At the time, press reports claimed a "huge gun-smuggling racket" had been uncovered, and that guns sold by Shepherd were linked to a number of murders. After being held in Pentonville and then the high-security Belmarsh prisons on remand for 10 months awaiting trial, Shepherd was acquitted of all 13 firearms offences with which he was charged.
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