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Day long Operation Hawk continues 53 locked up so far

September 20, 2012, 8:24 am

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has launched a new offensive
against drug-related crime, targeting cannabis farms, crack houses and
suspected drug dealers at residential and business premises all over

The day of action – Operation Hawk – involves over 1,000 officers and
more than 800 different activities across the capital ranging from raids
and testing for drugs on surfaces at pubs and clubs to visits to
pharmacies to check for any under the counter prescribing and drugs dogs
positioned at transport hubs.

The operation is being led by Safer Neighbourhoods officers, supported
by colleagues from units including Trident, the specialist drugs
command, Mounted Branch, Territorial Support Group (TSG), the Marine
Policing Unit, special constables and volunteer police cadets. It
follows a renewed call to the public last week to encourage them to come
forward with information about who may be selling or cultivating drugs
in their area.

As of 09.00 hrs today, Thursday 20 September there had been 53 arrests,
and 46 warrants executed. During these raids, 11 cannabis factories have
been closed and 1057 cannabis plants have been seized.

In addition, half a kilo of heroin was found at an address in Tottenham
and 850 cannabis plants were found in a warehouse in Greenwich – on each
occasion, a man has been arrested in connection with each incident. 19
rocks of crack were also discovered at a premises in Brent.

While activity to tackle drugs dealing has always been a high priority
for the MPS, with major operations carried out with partners against
high-level dealers on a regular basis, Operation Hawk is being refocused
to increase operational activity on drug dealing at the street level.

The MPS is also responding to concerns from local communities, many of
whom cite tackling ‘drugs’ as a priority for local Safer Neighbourhoods
teams. Moving forward, local officers will continue to relentlessly
pursue drugs related crime on a daily basis. As information about local
drug dealing comes in, local officers will seek to verify it, and take
appropriate action as quickly as possible. This could include going to a
court to apply for a search warrant, circulating a suspect as wanted, or
increasing patrols in particular areas. When action has been taken,
local police will inform local communities know what is being done to
help rid communities of drug dealers.

Commander Mak Chishty, MPS operational lead for Operation Hawk, said:
“This operation is a renewed emphasis on local policing teams tackling
street level drug dealing and associated crime using local community
intelligence and a wide range of tactics and assorted activities.

“Drug dealing damages communities. It generates crime, disorder and
anti-social behaviour. The MPS is determined to tackle this issue head
on by bringing together our resources to reclaim and help repair areas
affected by drug dealing.

“To help us do this, we need to encourage communities to talk to us and
report concerns, and we will reward this trust by delivering swift
results and telling people what action we have taken. Community
intelligence passed to us will be dealt with as quickly as possible and
carefully assessed before any action taken.

“With your help we can make your local neighbourhood safer. You make the
call, we’ll make it stop.”

+ Home Office estimates state that between one third and one half of
acquisitive crime is committed by offenders to fund misuse of illegal
substances. This equates to up to 17,220 (out of 34,441) street
robberies, 31,508 (out of 63,017) residential burglaries, and 48,118
(out of 96237) motor vehicle crimes per year. Figures based on 12 months
to end of July 2012.

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