A total of 19 individuals have been arrested over the past 24 hours in north London during the second operation carried out under the major new crackdown on gang crime by the Metropolitan Police Service.
The two-day operation targeted at a Haringey-based gang saw 17 suspected members arrested in the street in the Turnpike Lane area yesterday afternoon (28 February), and a further two were arrested in dawn raids today (29 February) in Wood Green.
The suspected gang members, who were all males and ranged in age from aged 17 to 39, were arrested for offences related to the supply of class A drugs. They are currently being interviewed at a number of London police stations.
200 officers from Haringey borough, Met specialist units and Safer Transport teams joined together for the operation, which was spearheaded by the Trident Gang Crime Command.
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Champion, said: “This second major operation under the new command fulfils one of our main objectives, to take harmful gang members off the streets and make our communities safer as a result.
“These raids today are a result of weeks of meticulous preparation by our specialist team – and there will be many more as we work to progress our objective of identifying, tracking down and bringing to account the most prolific offenders linked to street gangs.
“However, we would much rather stop young people offending in the first place. For the small number of young people who choose to affiliate to gangs our message is clear – either accept the specialist support on offer to leave criminality behind, or face the consequences that are inevitably coming to you.”
MPS Superintendent Chris Barclay, lead for Haringey’s Gang Crime Taskforce, added: “This operation is another example of our determination to enforce the law against those involved in gang crime.
“For those who refuse to engage with the help offered to get out of gangs, we will support the Commissioner’s tough stance on gangs by taking robust enforcement action in order to ensure the streets are safe for the community.
“We will continue to work in partnership with Haringey Council and other agencies to identify opportunities to divert those at risk of getting drawn into gangs and to show those that want to leave the gang lifestyle behind that there is a way out.”
The Trident Gang Crime Command was launched publicly on 8 February 2012 with a mass photocall in Trafalgar Square that brought together police, victims and community members in a show of strength, demonstrating Londoners’ determination to battle the blight of gang crime. It marked the beginning of a step change in how the MPS tackles gang crime in the capital and forms a key part of the Met Commissioner’s total war on crime.
The new command of 1,000 officers retains responsibility for the prevention and investigation of shootings, but will now work more closely with local areas to proactively tackle gang crime. Haringey is one of 19 priority boroughs that is getting dedicated Gang Crime Taskforces to deal with local gang crime and work with partners to implement diversion activities.
Raids carried out in more than a dozen boroughs over the three days from 8-10 February resulted in 365 arrests for a variety of offences including possession of firearms, the supply and possession of drugs, money laundering and gang-related violence. A substantial amount of cash was also seized.
The new command is enhanced with additional specialist resources from the MPS, and is responsible for real time monitoring of gang activity across London. It will see better and more consistent use of intelligence to identify and prioritise the most harmful gang members, while spotting young people at risk of being drawn into gangs who can be referred to other agencies for help in keeping them away from crime.
According to MPS intelligence systems there are an estimated 250 active criminal gangs in London, comprising about 4,800 individuals. Of these gangs 62 are considered as ’high harm’ and commit two thirds of all gang-related crime.