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Police arrest 1,200 people over three months on Strip

January 9, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas police have arrested more than 1,200 people on the Strip during a three-month operation during the coronavirus pandemic to reduce violence in the area, authorities said.

Police Capt. Dori Koren said the department’s Convention Center Area Command arrested 1,229 people and confiscated 64 guns from the area, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday. The charges included disorderly conduct, assault, battery, robbery and illegal shooting.

“Violent crime on and around the Las Vegas Strip began to rise significantly in September,” Koren said in a statement on Friday. “The primary driver for this activity was related to a sharp rise in firearm-related incidents and aggravated assaults.”

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Police called the effort Operation Persistent Pressure. It ran overnight every Friday and Saturday from mid-September until late December.

“The spike in crime we saw in our tourist corridor was resolved to some extent,” Koren said earlier in the week. “We made tremendous progress in dealing with the violent crime that you saw in our tourist corridor.”

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Review-Journal in October that the police department was increasing the presence of undercover officers with the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security.

Lombardo said that operation preceded Operation Persistent Pressure.

“This initiative was based on a collaborative effort of proactive policing and crime prevention that involved nearly every component of the LVMPD,” Koren said, adding that multiple agencies including the Nevada Highway Patrol assisted police.

Koren said the number of shootings decreased 54% from October to December and that overall violent crime in the area dropped as a result of their efforts.

“We are still maintaining our progress by using our existing area command resources, and we are also constantly evaluating what other new efforts need to be made to continue improving the safety and quality of life on the Strip,” she said.