Dawn breaks on a suburban street in sleepy North London


[from Times Online]
March 28, 2008

Dawn breaks on a suburban street in sleepy North London

Over 600 Police officers head down Romilly Road towards Blackstock Road in north London to carry out Operation Mista

Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent

The determined gait, the lettered helmets, the boilersuits may suggest a riot force about to quell unrest in any one of a dozen international hotspots.

But this was London yesterday. These officers marching down Romilly Road in North London were among more than a thousand from the Metropolitan, City of London and British Transport police forces, who took part in unprecedented raids at 56 addresses in the capital and across the country.

Operation Mista was aimed at people suspected drug dealing, money laundering, handling stolen goods and forgery. Thirty-seven people were arrested in the raids, which involved closing a shopping street.

Police with dog-handlers lined up in silence in residential side streets as Blackstock Road was shut. Among the businesses searched were an internet café, a halal butcher, a convenience store and a greengrocer. Shoppers were stopped and questioned at cordons at each exit to the street as they attempted to leave.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that officers had recovered 350 stolen items of property including 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 ipods, 20 sat-navs, 47 forged documents, including passports and driving licences.

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