Brick Lane club raided in massive police operation on Friday night - 10 arrests
PUBLISHED: 14:08 10 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:24 11 December 2012
A Brick Lane club has been shut down after it was raided by 175 police officers and several sniffer dogs while the Met helicopter circled overhead, as part of a London-wide crackdown that saw hundreds arrested for licensing crimes on Friday night.
Officers had been tipped off that Class A drug dealers were operating at the venue, 93 Feet East, and 10 people were arrested for various offences including possession of drugs with intent to supply.
The club was closed by police as a result of evidence recovered during the raid, which was part of the Met’s “Operation Condor” targeting licensing crimes across the capital, such as the illegal selling of knives, alcohol, and cigarettes to underage customers.
Officers stormed the club at about 10pm and a row of officers in high-visibility jackets barred the doors to prevent anyone leaving. The clubbers were made to form a queue so they could be walked past sniffer dogs one by one, and checked for drugs.
Meanwhile, other officers were on foot patrols outside the club to reassure passersby and hand out leaflets explaining what was going on.
Several bemused onlookers began filming the events on their mobile phones.
Tower Hamlets borough commander, Ch Supt Dave Stringer, said: “Make no mistake - this is exactly the type of proactive policing that this community has been asking for.
“Brick Lane is justifiably world-famous for the quality and diversity of its restaurants and night-life and our community safety partnership is absolutely committed to maintaining that reputation.
“Residents and businesses alike have been concerned about a small minority of visitors to the area committing anti-social behaviour late at night and I was as always greatly encouraged by the levels of support from the local community around our actions.”
Met officers were out in force in every London borough from 8pm on Friday to 8pm on Sunday.
Tactics included deploying hundreds of young volunteer police cadets to see if they were allowed to buy alcohol at off licences, police spot-checks at massage parlours to discover if sex workers were based there, and plain clothes operations to catch taxi touts and unlicensed minicab drivers.
Officers visited more than 5,000 premises in the capital and made a total of 297 arrests, 61 vehicle seizures, and 22 venue closures.