Hackney Police, in conjunction with Hackney Council and UK Border Agency, have successfully completed a four-month operation in Ridley Road and Dalston Junction, E8, aimed at tackling class A drug dealing in the area.
On 19th July, the police arrested 19 for a variety of immigration and drug-related offences, including possession with intent to supply class A drugs; an additional arrest for immigration offences only; and a large quantity of class A drugs seized.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Marsican, an initiative to tackle serious and organised crime in the borough, which has been jointly run and funded by the police and Hackney Council.
On 20th July officers were in the area to provide reassurance to residents, visitors, businesses and traders, and to explain the impact of the action.
Chief Superintendent Steve Bending, Borough Commander of Hackney Police, said: “Operation Marsican has been a fully collaborative effort, with positive feedback from residents and businesses in the area.
“By using a combination of enforcement and intervention, we are aiming to reduce anti-social activities such as drug dealing, drug taking, and the associated criminality that goes hand-in-hand with the supply of illegal substances.”
Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe added that crime in Hackney is at a 12 year low and that they are encouraged by the year-on-year reductions in crime. He said that the latest operation demonstrates their continued commitment to working together for a safer Hackney. “I hope that the significant results achieved through Operation Marsican bring about a lasting improvement to the area, and serve as a warning to the minority involved in criminality that their behaviour will not be tolerated in this borough.”
Janet Moore, Head of UK Border Agency’s Local Immigration Team, said the latest raids in Hackney show they “are working closely with the police and other law enforcement agencies to tackle suspected abuses of the immigration system, and to help reduce criminality in local communities. Where we find someone in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them. Where we receive intelligence that someone is involved in immigration crime, we will take action. The message is clear – the UK is not a safe haven for immigration offenders.”
The four-month investigation was led by Operation Bantam, Hackney Police’s proactive drugs and firearms squad. Also supporting the operation were the Council’s CCTV unit, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Dalston Safer Neighbourhoods policing team, and the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group, dog unit, and air support team.
All the 19 arrested remain in custody at east London police stations while the man arrested for suspected immigration offences is with the UKBA.