[from Islington Tribune]
|Islington Tribune – by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 10 October 2008
Drugs squad swoop hailed as ‘success’
Police claim raid on shopping street has taken down dealers’ ‘infrastructure’
POLICE were this week claiming a major breakthrough in their drive to sweep drugs off Islington’s streets.
[from Islington Gazette]
Police in drugs blitz
09 October 2008
TWENTY-FIVE people have been arrested and charged with drugs offences in a blitz on crack and heroin dealers on the streets of Islington.
Undercover police swooped in 14 separate hits after a cop posing as a crack addict was repeatedly sold Class A drugs in three known Islington hotspots.
All but one of those charged lives in Islington and a “high proportion” are alleged to have links to gangs and violent crime.
The Gazette joined a team of 18 plain-clothed police officers for the raid as they made arrests in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park.
Briefing his team ahead of the two-hour sting, Sergeant Derek Wright said: “This operation today is designed to relieve Stroud Green Road of drugs and claim it back for the people of Islington.”
The three hotspots targeted were Joseph Grimaldi Park, off Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, the area around Tufnell Park Tube Station, Tufnell Park, and outside Tesco’s in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park.
Detective Inspector Andy Mariner, head of Operation Faldo, said: “I couldn’t say how many drug dealers there are in Islington but these are the areas we’ve identified as being the busiest. We don’t have a gang problem but there are groups of people who will club together to buy drugs.
“The people they are selling to are completely indiscriminate, of different ages and sexes. They are causing groups of people to form in these areas. By taking out the catalyst, that draw to the area, we remove these associations.”
There are no police figures showing how much violent crime in Islington is drugs-related, but one man arrested in the operation had previously been allegedly knifed by a rival dealer.
DI Mariner said: “You get people coming into each other’s area and they are very territorial in terms of who they trust. If you get a busy drug dealer and someone comes in fresh there could be conflict.”
Two crack houses in Birnam Road and Fonthill Road, in Finsbury Park, have also been raided and shut down. Many of those charged will be hit with ASBOs banning them from returning to the area.
DI Mariner warned: “We don’t take them out and allow the void to be filled [by someone else].”
Crack cocaine and heroin usually sell for £10 a rock with many dealers stashing the drugs in their mouth to avoid detection.