Police make 300 arrests in crackdown on licensed premises

 

Police made almost 300 arrests and seized 61 vehicles and substantial amounts of tobacco and alcohol during a 48-hour crackdown on licensed premises across the capital.

Nearly 4,000 officers raided clubs, pubs, off-licences and shops in London to target those flouting licensing rules, Scotland Yard said.

Since 8am on Friday police have visited nearly 6,000 premises, where 1,046 offences were reported or disclosed during the operation, dubbed Operation Condor.

They shut down 22 venues, including pubs, saunas and massage parlours, checking for sex worker cards and that no-drinking zones have been enforced.

One of the largest individual operations involved 175 officers, including the Territorial Support Group, the Met Police's helicopter and dog units, who raided the 93 Feet East club in Brick Lane after reports of dealers selling class A drugs.

Police arrested nine people for offences, including possession of drugs with intent to supply, and the club was closed.

Police cadets also carried out test purchases at off-licences and shops, with undercover officers targeting taxi touts and illegal minicabs.

Officers seized 35kg of non-duty paid tobacco, 200 stolen phones and five counterfeit iPhones.

By 3.30am officers, including those from Transport for London, trading standards, border agency staff and revenue and customs officers, had visited 5,830 licensed premises.

At least 297 people were arrested for various offences, including 38 for theft, 20 for public order offences, 20 for possessing Class A drugs, 22 for possessing Class B drugs, 26 for possession with intent to supply, seven for possessing offensive weapons, 18 for drunkenness, and 52 for immigration offences.

Met Police commander Mak Chishty, who led the operation, said: "Yet again we have seen Operation Condor bring in excellent results from our concerted efforts involving thousands of officers being deployed all over London over the past two days.

"Licensing impacts upon everyday community life - in our shops and supermarkets this means people do not sell knives, harmful substances or alcohol to young people; in our pubs and clubs it means that alcohol is sold and consumed in a responsible way, on our roads it means that vehicles, such as taxis are properly licensed and safe.

"These are just some examples of how licensing affects all of our daily activities, and we will continue to commit resources to this and work extremely hard with our partners to tackle these areas in the future."

It is the third time Operation Condor, one of the Met's "big wing" operations focusing on specific crimes, has taken place this year.

PA

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