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A week of activity targeting drug supply and the associated violence in east London has resulted in 23 arrests.
The intelligence led operation by the Met, took place across five days from Monday, 22 to Friday, June 26 and included 80 officers from the East Area Command Gangs and Violence Suppression Unit and Dog Units.
Warrants were executed at residential addresses throughout Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham.
The five days of activity resulted in the arrest of 21 males and two females aged from 17–48 years.
All 23 were interviewed at east London police stations and 14 have been released on bail to return on a date in late July, eight remain in custody and one person was released with no further action.
An 18-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday, June 23 during a stop and search in Barking and Dagenham and was subsequently charged with being in possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a Class B drug.
He appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Wednesday, June 24 and was bailed to appear at the same court on Monday, July 27.
A 40-year-old man and a 39-year-old man were arrested on Wednesday, June 24 in Redbridge. Both are charged with possession with intent to supply Class B drugs and money laundering.
They appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, June 25 and were bailed to appear at the same court on Thursday, July 23.
Of the 23 warrants conducted, 10 were in Havering, eight in Redbridge, four were in Barking and Dagenham and one was in north-west London.
During the week officers seized Class A and B drugs with an estimated value of £50,000. Two cannabis factories in Ilford were closed and dismantled and a variety of weapons were seized including three guns, CS Spray, swords, knives, and a taser.
Detective Sergeant Luke Hampton who co-ordinated the raids said: “Those targeted in the warrants are concerned in the street dealing strand of drug supply which as we know contributes to violence across our three boroughs.
“While we know that drug use and supply are a global issue, we don’t accept them as a part of everyday life. The warrants we have conducted will have a positive impact on the quality of life for local communities by seriously disrupting the supply of drugs and the significant amount of class A and class B substances seized will now not be sold on our streets.
Detective Superintendent Paul Trevers of East Area Command said: “Reducing violence remains a top priority for us and this week’s operation is part of our ongoing commitment to bring violence levels down as we continue to identify, target and track offenders linked to violence, gangs or drug supply.
“As part of our determination to make Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham safer than ever, we have launched a newly formed, dedicated, local Violence Suppression Unit to relentlessly and proactively crack down on violence.
“By compiling solid evidence against drug dealers prior to arrest, we have improved the chances of charges being brought and the defendants being placed before the courts.
“As the arrest results clearly show, pro-active operations of this type often yield far more than the intended targets with a number of additional arrests for violent offences having been made along the way.
“All three boroughs that make up our East Area Command are geographically separate, but have a common theme – the supply and use of drugs and the often violent crime associated with it, all of which has a negative impact on those living, working and raising families here.
“Our new unit, specialising in challenging violence and its drivers, consists of one detective inspector leading three sergeants and 16 PCs. This team will be uplifted from next week by one further detective sergeant and six detective constables enabling the team to undertake a wider range of investigations, simultaneously including covert and intelligence led operations and intelligence gathering and development.
“Although predominantly working pro-actively to challenge violence, the team also promote engagement and diversion.
“Within the last six weeks, working with our partners, we identified 56 people believed to be at risk of violence, or being connected to violent offending. All have been offered the chance to access support to leave drug and gang culture.”