Gun found in car as Met makes 130 arrests during drugs op

A police car

More than 130 arrests were made in a three-day operation to tackle drugs and violence - Credit: Matt Powell

More than 130 arrests were made in a three-day operation to tackle drugs and violence, with hotspots in Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets targeted.

Based on intelligence, the Metropolitan Police was deployed to points along the A10 in Shoreditch, Seven Sisters, and in Brixton and Ladbroke Grove.

The operation took place from January 11 to January 13, working to catch criminals transporting drugs, weapons and cash in and out of the capital.

The force seized one gun, 47 vehicles, £28,000 in cash, large amounts of cocaine and cannabis, 15 knives and weapons, and made 132 arrests for knife, weapons, and drugs offences.

Automatic number plate recognition technology was used to link vehicles with criminal activity.

Officers also used drugs swipes at the roadside for the first time, to detect anyone whose driving was impaired by recreational drugs.

The three-day operation, dubbed Operation Pandilla, saw officers from the Met work alongside Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent police forces, as well as British Transport Police.

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Youth workers from the charity Bounce Back, which offers support and guidance to young offenders to help them find ways out of criminal lifestyles, also joined the operation, working in custody suites to provide immediate intervention.

Ch Insp Rob Ranstead, who led the operation, said: “Tackling violent crime and the supply of drugs is a top priority, which includes targeting the drivers which fuel it.

“The key aim of this operation was to stop drugs and weapons being brought onto the streets.

"Preventing these crimes, while also safeguarding vulnerable individuals on the cusp of violence, is paramount."

He continued: “As part of this operation, young people received instant support, independent of police.

"This type of collaborative approach can have a real impact on finding longer-term solutions reducing violent crime.”

Some 77 suspects were charged or received police cautions as a result of the action, the force said.