Newham’s licensed premises targeted in police crackdown

More than 120 licensed premises in Newham were targeted by police in one of their biggest London-wide crackdowns of the year so far.

The 48-hour Operation Condor, set up to tackle unlicensed activity across the capital, resulted in 21 arrests.

Officers were on the lookout for drug taking and other illegal activity inside pubs and were checking that alcohol was being sold in line with licensing laws.

In shops and supermarkets, they also took action against people selling alcohol, cigarettes and knives to children, and those who had not correctly checked the history of second-hand goods for sale.

Driving licence fraud and taxi touts were also targeted.

The 21 arrests were made in relation to theft, immigration offences, and outstanding warrants.

Minor breaches were reported to Newham Council for possible further action.

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Newham Det Ch Insp Kevin Baldwin said the operation was a “great success.”

He said: “It sends a clear message to business licence owners that you need to comply with the law and the regulations that govern your work.

“We will continue to work with our partnership organisations to ensure that retailers continue to work within the law.

“We also continue to test compliance and where we find breaches, as for example in the sale of a knife to a juvenile, people could be prosecuted.”

Cadets were also out making test purchases during the operation.

Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor for policing and crime, said: “Most criminal networks profit from illegal licensing, whether it’s selling alcohol illegally or giving youngsters access to harmful weapons.

“Cracking down on this activity means we’ll see a knock on effect of a drop in robberies, violence and anti social behaviour, which is good news for Londoners.

“I’d like to thank the 3,000 police officers enforcing this operation and I’d like to advise criminals across the capital to keep looking over their shoulders as we’re watching.”