[from Met Police]
More than 1000 officers have taken part in an operation to execute warrants at 56 addresses in London and other towns and cities today (27.03.08) targeting those involved in a wide range of criminality.
The two-phase operation, involving a total of 1,122 officers, began with a series of raids of 37 residential address at 6am and a second wave at 2.15pm this afternoon in which part of Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park was sealed off and search warrants executed at 19 business premises.
So far more than 70 arrests have been made as a result of the intelligence led operation codenamed operation “Mista” – and searches continue at the addresses.
The ongoing operation, carried out jointly with British Transport Police and Border and Immigration Agency, was designed to arrest those believed to be involved in a range of crime including handling stolen property, drug dealing, production of forged documents.
Prior to today’s raids officers had recovered 350 stolen items of property including, 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 I-pods, 20 Sat-Navs, and 47 forged documents during the course of their investigations.
Chief Superintendent Bob Carr, from Islington Borough Police, who is in charge of the operation, said:“Today’s arrests have been the culmination of a lengthy operation by the MPS supported by BTP and the Immigration Service, to target those who we believe are involved in criminal activity.
“The operation has taken many months in the planning, collating intelligence to ensure that we are targeting the right individuals.
“We cannot allow people perceived to be successful through their criminality to have a negative impact on our communities; in particular young people.
“We know we have the support of the wider community in this area who have constantly raised the issue of criminality to the Safer Neighbourhoods teams.
“This is part of a long term strategy to ensure those intent on criminal activity no longer gravitate towards the area.
“Following the arrests today [27.3.08] we expect there to be a number of individuals outstanding who we will be actively seeking to arrest in the coming weeks.
“The Safer Neighbourhoods teams who work closely with the local communities will now be engaging with key partners and residents to make the Blackstock Road area a safer place for those who live and work in the local community.”
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Jones of British Transport Police said:“This is a major joint operation targeting a group of people responsible for much serious crime.
“The significant resources that have been devoted to Operation Mista over many months should send a message that we will do what it takes to track down criminals and bring them to justice.”