Dawn raids across Hackney see 23 arrests for firearms and drugs offences

23 people have been arrested this morning, Wednesday 3 August, during dawn raids across Hackney and north east London as part of Operation Chalais, an 18 month-long operation aimed at the dismantling and destruction of criminal gangs in Hackney.

During the course of this morning’s operation, 32 search warrants were executed at addresses in Hackney, Enfield and Waltham Forest. The following results were achieved:

-23 arrests (21 men, 2 women) for a variety of drug-related and firearm offences, including possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession of class A drugs, and conspiracy to supply firearms.

Seizures included:

- A large quantity of suspected Heroin and Crack Cocaine;
- 45 mobile phones;
- 60 mobile phone SIM cards;
- Approx £8,000 in cash;
- One suspected imitation firearm.

All suspects are currently in custody at London police stations.

The arrests were made under Operation Chalais, a joint initiative run by Hackney Police with significant funding from the Council. The operation was directed at those suspected of gang criminality in the borough and forms part of a three-pronged strategy to tackle the issue of gangs, which also encompasses the work of Hackney’s Integrated Gangs Intervention Project - a partnership between Hackney Police, Hackney Council, the London Probation Trust and Hackney Homes - and the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Trident.

Although the operation focused on dismantling middle and higher tier gang members in one particular area of Hackney, it is hoped that the effects of this morning’s raids will be long-lasting, and will lead to significant, long-term reductions in offences relating to gang-related violence, firearms and drugs across the entire borough.

The 18 month-long, intelligence-led investigation , involving covert and overt tactics, has been run by Hackney Police, in conjunction with several other central Metropolitan Police units, and today’s arrest phase had the support of approximately 300 officers from units including TSG (Territorial Support Group) and various SO (Special Operations) and SCD (Specialist Crime Directorate) teams. Hackney Council s CCTV unit also played a key role in the operation.

Chief Superintendent Steve Bending, Hackney Police’s Borough Commander, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 300 officers from across London who were involved in this operation for their contribution to today’s activity. Today’s arrests, which are the culmination of 18 months’ work, will play an important part in further reducing gang-related crime in Hackney.”
“It is also important that we acknowledge the role of Hackney Council, which has provided long-term support for this operation and a clear commitment to tackle gang-related criminality. Our joint work to combat gang violence will continue.”

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney said: “Although crime in Hackney is at its lowest level for 12 years, we know that our residents remain concerned by the small minority of individuals who involve themselves in serious, violent and gang-related crime. Our significant financial investment in this operation, coupled with our ongoing, long-term support, demonstrates how serious we are about tackling organised crime and gangs in Hackney."