Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers from Brent Borough and the Territorial Support Group (TSG) carried out raids at 23 addresses across the Stonebridge Estate, Harlesden, NW10 early this morning, Thursday 1 March 2012. This action was in direct response to evidence gathered against members of the ‘Thugs of Stonebridge’ gang during and after last summer’s disorder.
On 9 August 2011 at about 00:30hrs officers on patrol in West Ella Road, Harlesden, NW10 arrested 22 people on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. Thought to be members of the ‘Thugs of Stonebridge’ gang they were caught running from two transit vans; which they had been in allegedly on their way to loot commercial premises.
“The MPS is cracking down on gang crime in London to protect communities.”
They were taken to Wembley police station and subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.
Following six months of coordinated evidence gathering, by officers from Brent Borough, working together with colleagues from the MPS Economic & Specialist Crime Command, Operation Serpentine saw the arrest of gang members today.
So far 14 of these 22 people have been further arrested today and a quantity of phones, laptop and drugs recovered. Those arrested remain in custody at police stations across London, whilst further searches and enquiries continue.
Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner, Brent Borough Commander, said: “The MPS is cracking down on gang crime in London to protect communities. We will continue to relentlessly pursue gangs and gang members through proactive operations and investigations such as this.
“We will be working with Brent partners to prevent young people from joining gangs in the first place. Although most young people in Brent and London are law-abiding, good citizens, we know there are too many who are in gangs or could get involved in, gangs.
“These arrests also demonstrate our commitment to prosecute all those who took part in the London disorder and come at a time when Operation Withern have now made more than 4000 arrests. I am convinced that the actions of my officers prevented large scale looting in Brent in August last year”.
Officers will be leafleting homes in and around the Stonebridge area with details of today’s operation and will also be holding a public meeting for the local community to attend at 19:00hrs tonight in the Sattavis Patidar Centre, Forty Lane near the junction with The Avenue, Wembley Park.
As of Monday 27 February there have been a total of 4019 arrests (1013 Juvenile / 3006 Adult) of which 2495 have resulted in being charged/summonsed (645 Juvenile / 1827 Adult).
Overall 1522 people have been sentenced for their part in the disorder with 754 receiving custodial sentences.
Dedicated officers have viewed the majority of the 250,000 hours of CCTV footage recovered from across London, with an estimated 45,000 hours left remaining.