Drugs squad swoop hailed as ‘success’


[from Islington Tribune]

Islington Tribune – by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 10 October 2008
Man arrested during the drugs raid in Stroud Green Road on Tuesday
Man arrested during the drugs raid in Stroud Green Road on Tuesday

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.
An afternoon raid in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, on Tuesday resulted in four arrests.
Police believe the swoop has broken up one arm of the borough’s drug trade with the arrest of a leading dealer, a drugs runner and an “introducer”, who brings dealers and addicts together.
Speaking after Tuesday’s raid, Insp Andy Mariner said: “It was a great success. The infrastructure has been taken down.”
The daylight arrests in a busy shopping street bring the tally of suspects held for drugs offences to 25. The latest raid – part of Operation Faldo, which has been running since August – was the culmination of three months work, in which undercover officers posed as crack addicts to win the confidence of dealers.
So far, 14 raids have been staged at Tufnell Park, Stroud Green Road and Grimaldi Park in Pentonville Road, King’s Cross.
Sgt Derek Wright said the aim of the operation was to “relieve the area of drug sellers and claim it back for the residents of Islington”.
Tuesday’s raid in Stroud Green Road involved 18 police officers, many in plain clothes. Among those arrested was a 40-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman. A 55-year-old man gave himself up to police.
A 19-year-old man was arrested nearby on suspicion of selling heroin and cocaine.
In a second swoop, police descended on two homes in nearby Birnam Road, where drugs were found in a flat.
An earlier raid led to the closure of a crack house in Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park.
Police were originally investigating conflicts between rival youth gangs for control of areas but the investigation soon turned into an anti-drugs operation.
The next stage is to ensure other dealers do not move in. Insp Mariner said: “We don’t just take people out and allow the void to be filled. The main people will be prevented from coming back.
“People dealing from their houses will have their houses closed down.”

[from Islington Gazette]

Police in drugs blitz

nlnews@archant.co.uk
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.

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