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Suspected drug dealers and violent gang members arrested in dawn raids across Newham

PUBLISHED: 11:01 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:53 29 October 2018

An officer storming a property in Parkway Crescent, Stratford, where one suspect was arrested. Picture: Rhiannon Long

An officer storming a property in Parkway Crescent, Stratford, where one suspect was arrested. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Archant

Police have arrested 14 men in dawn raids this morning targeting gang members in Newham.

Det Supt Zena Marshall with Newham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, ahead of the raid. Picture: Rhiannon LongDet Supt Zena Marshall with Newham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, ahead of the raid. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Officers stormed 20 addresses across Beckton, Custom House and Stratford, where they held 14 of 24 targeted suspects.

The men are suspected of being involved in violence and large-scale drug dealing across the south of the borough.

In one of the largest operations carried out by the newly merged North East Borough Command Unit (which used to be Newham and Waltham Forest), 200 officers seized Class A and B drugs, cash, and clothing which links the suspects to vital pieces of CCTV evidence.

Operation Pomerelle was the result of five months work, led by Det Ch Supt Richard Tucker.

He said: “The wider purpose of this was to tackle the spike in violence which is linked to gangs and drugs.

“The cop in me feels fantastic. We confronted people who we believe are involved in serious violence, and from a policing point of view, it’s a great result.

“The senior cop in me sees this as what people want us to do. The vast majority of the community support us and what we do.”

Five properties were raided in Claremont Close in Beckton, with another raided in neighbouring Pier Road.

Around 200 officers were involved in the operation, which took five months of prepatory work. Picture: Rhiannon LongAround 200 officers were involved in the operation, which took five months of prepatory work. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Another suspect was arrested at a traveller’s site in Parkway Crescent, Stratford, where officers found more than a kilogram of cannabis.

“This is important because of the impact it’ll have on the community,” Det Ch Supt Tucker added.

“The impact in terms of making people feel safe can’t be underestimated.

“Hundreds of thousands of people in Newham aren’t involved in trouble, so the chance of getting involved in violence is small. But the impact of reading about incidents and knowing they’re down the road is huge.”

Police vans gathered at the ExCeL before storming 20 properties across Custom House, Beckton and Stratford. Picture: Rhiannon LongPolice vans gathered at the ExCeL before storming 20 properties across Custom House, Beckton and Stratford. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Newham’s mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, also attended the raid, which covered many of the areas where the former Custom House councillor used to door-knock.

She said that working in partnership with police to look at the reasons behind joining gangs was vital in keeping levels of violence down.

The raid took place on the 21st anniversary of Pc Nina Mackay’s death, an officer who was fatally stabbed during a raid in Stratford.

Det Ch Supt Tucker added: “That raid wasn’t dissimilar to today’s operation. Cops are just people like us so we’re always very aware of safety. But today is just another day, and there’ll be other calls. We’ll go home, have a rest, and get straight back out.”

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