Newham police chief hails crime crackdown success
The aptly named Operation Target across the Metropolitan Police and resulted in more than 5,000 arrests across London in the biggest ever crackdown on neighbourhood crime in the Metropolitan Police’s history.
Detective Inspector Andy Packer from Newham told the Recorder: “The aim of the operation is to achieve significant long term reductions in burglary, robbery and violent crime.”
He said there have been 385 arrests in an operation that targeted specific wards, those with particularly high levels of crime.
As part of the drive officers also carried out Operation Fusion in the west quadrant of the borough, taking in the Stratford area. It resulted in 45 arrests and used an extra 150 officers who worked from 6pm until 3am overnight.
The operation also involved a lockdown of part of Romford Road on the night of July 20 and was a “massive success”, said DI Packer. It resulted in nine arrests and the removal of an illegal wooden shack where drug dealing was going on.
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Part of Romford Road in Forest Gate around the Sprowston Road area, was temporarily blocked off at 9.15pm for the safety of the public and to preserve evidence as officers swooped on known drug dealers, targeted due to their on-street activities selling heroin and crack cocaine. Traffic was diverted away while police made arrests.
Six commercial premises in and around Romford Road, mainly food convenience stores, were also raided during the large-scale operation which involved around 120 police officers and agency staff. The premises were believed to have been concerned in the supply of drugs to individuals selling on the street.
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DI Packer said there was a huge improvement in confidence among the local community in the area.
He said Operation Target has seen the borough buck the London-wide trend for increases in robbery and burglary.
His officers will continue to use the intelligence gathered in the operation to target particular hot spots in the borough to have a positive impact on the lives of people who are affected by crime.
The next objective for his officers will be tackling the theft of bikes, using covert methods.