Violent men were taken off the streets in a special police operation across the borough on Tuesday.

Three men were arrested in dawn raids, two suspected of committing domestic violence and one who was later charged with a homophobic assault.

A fourth person contacted police and arranged to attend a police station.

Following the raids, police are urging victims of violent crime to come forward, saying they take issues such as domestic violence very seriously.

Superintendent Jim Davis said: "We will actively target offenders, ensuring that they are arrested and brought to justice.

"If you are a victim of domestic violence, please, please report it.

"We will listen sympathetically, investigate professionally and there are support mechanisms here to help you."

This week a victim of homophobic crime spoke out to urge others to report violent crime to police.

The operation marked the launch of a new unit in the Metropolitan Police targeting violent crime across London by improving police intelligence and encouraging all parts of the force to work together.

In Richmond upon Thames, violent crime has dropped by five per cent in the past year, from 2,886 offences to 2,742. Detection rates have also improved from 58 to 71 per cent overall.

Police attribute the success to their high profile patrols in town centres at night and a special operation against domestic violence.

Domestic violence is the most prevalent form of violent crime in the borough, but has reduced by 2.4 per cent.

Supt Davis said officers were encouraged to actively investigate domestic crime and warned offenders that they had pursued prosecutions without the support of victims.

Freddie Sipson, landlord of the Richmond Arms, the borough's leading gay pub, also urged members of the gay community who were victims of violent crime to contact police.

He said: "We have always got a good response from the police, have been treated well and thought that they were going to do something about it.

"As the landlord in the pub you listen to people and hear things, but if people are not prepared to go to the police or report it through a third party, nothing is going to be done.

"I have got confidence that if you go to the police they are going to take it seriously."

Homophobic crime can be reported at the pub through a third party reporting scheme and victims can remain anonymous if they wish.

If you are a victim contact DS Mark Long of the Community Safety Unit on 8247 5823.