Police raid stalls in ‘drugs hotspot’ Ridley Road – but market manager insists ‘they’ve got it totally wrong’

Officers raiding a stall in Ridley Road Market. Picture: Dalston Police

Officers raiding a stall in Ridley Road Market. Picture: Dalston Police - Credit: Archant

Drug raids were executed on stalls at Ridley Road Market on Saturday after an “uplift in reports of dealing” – but nothing was found.

Apparently, food shopping isn’t the only thing the market is famous for – the Dalston officer in charge of the raid told the Gazette it has “historically been a drugs hotspot”.

And 24 hours before Hackney Carnival they targeted stalls “suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs”. Though they found nothing, they said the drug supply in the area “will have been disrupted”.

Stop and search was also used, with police telling the Gazette they had “two positive stops dealt with by way of community resolution”.

Ridley Road Traders’ Association chair Larry Julian hit back, saying police they had got it “totally wrong” in saying stalls were involved in the dealing.

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He told the Gazette: “It seems like traders are always taking the brunt of everything. They’ve got it totally wrong – there’s definitely not drug dealing at the stalls. If they are making accusations they need to come up wit the proof. They are making the market and traders look poor and they should do their job properly.”

Larry said he knew there were problems with drug dealers operating in the area, but said: “If the police are aware of drug dealing in the market why don’t they put more people there?

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“I’ve seen this come and go so many times. Their argument is always: ‘If you crowd the area it will just push them to another area’, and at least they know where they are.”

The officer said: “Ridley Road Market has historically been a drugs hotspot within Dalston, but there has been recent uplift in reports of drug dealing within the market so we have acted on information received.

“With assistance from other teams from Hackney, the Dalston Safer Neighbourhood Team carried out intelligence-led drug warrants on stalls suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs. Stop and search was also utilised, with two positive stops being dealt with by way of community resolution.

“Whilst nothing was found on the stalls searched this time, the drug supply in the area will have been disrupted.

“We hope that taking action such this we are sending out a message that criminality is not tolerated in Dalston and we are on to the tactics being used. Further work is being done to carry on targeting drug supply in the area.”

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