515 held in London anti-gang raids
Wednesday 15 February 2012
Anti-gang police made more than 500 arrests in a three-day blitz on London's crime network.
A total of 515 arrests were made and a "huge" amount of weapons, drugs and cash seized as a result of last week's raids spearheaded by the newly formed Trident Gang Crime Command.
The crackdown involved almost 5,000 Metropolitan Police officers and resulted in 253 people being charged with offences ranging from grievous bodily harm and possession of firearms to violent disorder and assault.
A further 186 suspects were bailed pending further investigation, while 17 others received cautions.
Eight penalty notices, one final warning, and three reprimands were also issued - with only 47 suspects released with no further action.
Seized weapons included 14 guns, 37 knives and blades, CS gas canisters, a crossbow, a Samurai sword, 17 coshes and a dangerous dog.
The firearms included a sawn-off shotgun, eight handguns (two semi-automatic), three imitation firearms, a Taser and a gas-powered gun.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Cundy, Trident Gang Crime Commander, said: "We are absolutely delighted that the carefully planned three days of operations have yielded such excellent results.
"The number of arrests and seizures of firearms sends a clear message to those who persist in gang violence that we will pursue them relentlessly, using all the options at our disposal.
"But I would reiterate that we want to prevent young people getting involved in gang offending.
"We are working with other agencies to offer them routes out, such as the conflict resolution service we can refer people to, as well as other types of assistance from other statutory and voluntary partners.
"These results give us a valuable basis for moving forward in our intention of reducing gang crime and improving community support for what we want to achieve, namely protecting some of our most vulnerable victims and communities in London."
The raids saw police seize drugs including half a kilo of crack cocaine in Southwark, 67 grams of heroin in Newcross, Lewisham, (with a street value of approximately £3,500), and four cannabis factories uncovered.
In Bexley alone, 50 tennis ball-sized packets of crack, two large compressed cases of skunk cannabis, 1kg of heroin and £10,000 in cash were seized, while in Brent 668 mature cannabis plants were found.
In Wandsworth, crystal meth was seized from a property along with a Taser.
Police also recovered £254,000 in cash and more than 25 vehicles, including a £40,000 Mercedes.
Top gang member targets on all 32 boroughs were visited across the three days.
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