Police arrest 16 people in dawn raids on Hackney gangs
PUBLISHED: 13:58 07 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:28 07 August 2013
Police officer arrested 16 men today during a crackdown on gangs in Hackney.
A series of dawn raids were carried out by 170 officers at 15 addresses across the London Fields and Frampton Estate areas of Hackney from 5.30am onwards.
The men, who were aged between 16 to 36 years, were arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, namely heroin and crack cocaine.
Officers have so far recovered a quantity of Class A drugs (namely crack cocaine) and a quantity of cash. Searches are still ongoing.
Those targeted in today’s coordinated operations are believed to be ‘high harm’ individuals who are suspected of involvement in a series of crimes.
All those arrested have been taken to a central London police station where they remain in police custody.
Officers from Hackney’s Gang Unit and Trident’s Central Gangs Unit, assisted by officers from the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG), carried out the raids.
Det Supt Tony Nash, of Hackney Police, said: “Today’s operation with Trident is part of our normal business and should send out a clear message to anyone involved in such crime that the police, our partners and our communities will never accept or allow gangs and their criminal behaviour to go unchecked.
“There are clear links with gangs and drug dealing to violence resulting in a negative impact on community confidence.
“Those involved should realise the impact this will have on their families, their friends and their futures. There is an alternative and we are able to direct those who want to exit this lifestyle through successful pathways outside of the police service.”
Det Ch Insp Tim Champion, of Trident Central Gangs Unit, said: “Today, Hackney’s priority gang member has been arrested in relation to this operation. The criminal lifestyle of those arrested has caused misery to local residents and the local area, creating a hostile place to live due to the violence and anti-social behaviour of the gang members targeted.
“We have been working with officers from Hackney for the past three months and during that time we have made 113 arrests of which 68 are known gang members.
“The unit’s primary focus is to work with local communities, local authorities, charities and other agencies to prevent young people from joining gangs in the first place and all those arrested today were offered the opportunity by Hackney borough to escape from gang culture.
“Those involved in gangs should also be aware that there is a way out and that there are people we can put them in touch with to help turn their lives around, from mentors, to education centres to potential employers.
“However, if you remain in a gang and if you continue to commit crime, then we will keep targeting you.”
Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhoods teams in the area will be carrying out additional patrols in Hackney and neighbouring wards throughout the rest of the day and speaking with local residents and businesses about today’s operation.
The operation was also supported by the MPS dogs unit, Air Support Unit (ASU), SCO9 Financial Investigation Unit and local Safer Neighbourhoods Team officers.
In the past three months, Trident and local officers have seized a stun gun, a quantity of class A drugs, 15 knives, a sawn-off shotgun and a hand gun.
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