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Stokie gangs smashed in ‘Al Capone’ dawn raids

PUBLISHED: 09:46 04 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:33 04 December 2014

Police officers conduct a number of arrests in the N16 area following a series of violent incidents

Police officers conduct a number of arrests in the N16 area following a series of violent incidents

Archant

Violent Hackney gangs targeted by police in dawn raids.

There were 12 people arrested at 10 separate addresses for drugs offences as 100 officers took part in Operation Amber yesterday morning.

But Det Ch Insp Dan Brown said the real aim behind raids was to tackle gang violence.

He said: The reason we are targeting them for drugs is because they and the groups they are associated with have been involved with gang violence over the last year.

“Gang violence is intrinsically linked to class A drugs, as a result of grievances between different groups, respect issues, post code wars, or protecting their area from those taking away business.”

He continued: “There was the murder of Antonio Rodney-Cole last December, two shootings and several stabbings.”

The last incident on Monday November 3 saw a 25-year-old man stabbed several times in Nevill Road, leaving him fighting for his life.

Det Ch Insp Brown said: “Often we don’t get enough intelligence to take anything further. The victims of gang violence are by and large unwilling to co-operate with police, with a code of silence it’s difficult to obtain evidence,

“Al Capone committed several murders in Chicago but was eventually taken out through tax evasion, so if we cant target people for specific offences because of lack of evidence, we will target them for others.”

Officers knocked on the doors of other known gang members later in the day to deliver “key messages”.

“We told them violence is not going to be tolerated by the community,” said Det Ch Insp Brown.

“Acts of violence attract police attention to all criminal activity, and the consequences are for all the group, these arrests are evidence of that promise,” he warned.

“Those involved have the choice to leave.”

Hackney’s integrated gangs unit was involved in the operation. It offers gang members a way out through education, training and employment. Those arrested remained in police custody.


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