Christmas anti-burglary op gets cracking with dawn raid on Hackney flat

Police dawn raid (Photo: Polly Hancock)

Police dawn raid (Photo: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

Police on a dawn raid to detain a suspected burglar got more than they bargained for when they discovered what appeared to be a gun inside his flat.

The Gazette accompanied officers on the raid on Wednesday morning last week. Cops had been given a warrant to search the man’s house because of the Class A drugs he was suspected of dealing – but the main drive behind the operation was a burglary the man was suspected of carrying out.

The weapon turned out to be an imitation gun that had been painted black and covered in tape.

Hackney police are trying to arrest as many burglary suspects as they can in the run-up to Christmas.

Det Insp Paul Ridley told the Gazette: “For every burglary, we have a scene examiner who will carry out a thorough examination.

“What we often do find is their DNA or fingerprints, or we put their CCTV out and an officer will recognise them. We research where they [live], and hope they are there.

“We will use rapid entry if we think there are things suspects might conceal, like flushing drugs down the toilet – with the prolific offenders we need to get in there as soon we can.”

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Ten officers from the task force went on the operation last week, using a special tool to force the door open.

One man has now been charged with burglary and four people arrested on suspicion of firearms and drugs offences.

Det Insp Ridley said: “Burglaries do spike in the run-up to Christmas because of the rich pickings often found in people’s homes at this time of year. Although it impacts emotionally at any time of year it’s escalated at Christmas. People feel violated.

“Although a lot of goods are insured, sentimental items are irreplaceable. It’s not always about the money but about the fact a stranger has been in your home.”