Operation Trident, or simply Trident, is a Metropolitan Police Service unit originally set up in 1998 to tackle gun crime and homicide disproportionately affecting African-Caribbean communities following a series of shootings in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Brent. By 2008 the unit was responsible for investigating all non-fatal shootings for the Metropolitan Police and in February 2012 the unit's remit was again expanded; the new Trident Gang Crime Command was launched incorporating responsibility for tackling wider gang crime. In 2013 the unit gave up responsibility for investigating fatal shootings which was taken over by the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
Trident is currently led by Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon who joined the team from the Counter Terrorism Command in 2012. The Chairman of the Trident Independent Advisory Group (IAG) is no longer Claudia Webbe, who was a founding member of the IAG.
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.
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 and Operations Directorate, Trident is also known as SC&O8.
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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