Thieves spark show of force
Who says you never see any police on the streets anymore?
Shoppers in one busy road saw about 600 bobbies on Thursday as they carried out raids on gangs suspected of dealing in drugs, stolen goods and dodgy documents.
Riot vans blocked the road off before they paid a surprise visit to 19 cafes and shops.
More than 300 stolen mobile phones, along with 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 iPods, 20 sat-navs and 47 forged passports and driving licences were recovered in the raid in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, north London.
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘There is no doubt that people know they can get rid of stolen goods in this particular road. That is why we are doing a clean sweep to clear it out.’
The move followed raids earlier in the day which saw about 500 officers hit 37 homes across London and as far north as Leeds.
A total of 35 people were arrested as part of Operation Mista on suspicion of being members of a criminal network. Police said many of those arrested were Algerian.
Commanding officer Chief Supt Bob Carr said: ‘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 community.’