Newham gang operation leads to 13 arrests in dawn raids
PUBLISHED: 10:14 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:30 17 May 2013
Police burst through the doors of 13 suspected gang members today in a series of dawn raids to crack down on street violence.
From 5am, 26 police carriers hit 15 addresses in Stratford to give the occupants a harsh wake up call and to carry out searches for drugs and criminal cash.
Thirteen people have been arrested and held in custody as part of Operation Nibento, a partnership between Newham police’s Gangs Unit, the Met’s Trident Central Gangs Unit, and the Territorial Support Group.
The suspects, all aged 16 to 24, were arrested for conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, and possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs namely crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
The action is the result of a three-month covert operation to identify and divert local youths away from gang-related activity such as street violence and drug dealing.
Since Trident Central Gangs Unit has started working with the borough, it has led to more than 123 arrests - 103 of which are of known violent gang members - and 58 arrest warrants issued with an 85 per cent success rate.
Det Chf Insp Tim Champion, Trident Central Gangs Unit, said: “The criminal lifestyle of those arrested today has caused misery to local residents and the local area, creating a hostile place to live due to the anti-social behaviour of the gang members targeted.
“The Central Gangs 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 Newham 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 will be carrying out additional patrols in Newham and neighbouring wards throughout the rest of the day and speaking with local residents and businesses about today’s operation.
DCI Dave Rock, Newham police, said:
“This operation is the culmination of many weeks work between Trident and ourselves. Those who deal drugs on our streets should know that we will use all tactics to arrest and convict them.”
To read more about the investigation leading to today’s arrests and those involved, how today’s criminals use social media, and an upcoming film made in Newham aiming to turn young people away from gangs, see Wednesday’s Newham Recorder.
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