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Flying Squad in Christmas Crackdown on robbery suspects

PUBLISHED: 23:13 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

SCOTLAND Yard's Flying Squad has arrested 12 people in the last 24 hours as part of a Christmas crackdown' on commercial robberies in raids a across London. Seven were at addresses in East London. Those arrested—including two women—are suspects in police investigations into 20 robberies, but not all linked. The swoops were part of Operation Quizzer to deter opportunist' criminals hoping to cash in on hold-ups over the festive season

Mike Brooke

SCOTLAND Yard’s Flying Squad has arrested 12 people in the last 24 hours as part of a Christmas crackdown’ on commercial robberies in raids across London. Seven were at addresses in East London.

Those arrested—including two women—are suspects in police investigations into 20 robberies, but not all linked.

The swoops came as part of Operation Quizzer to deter opportunist’ criminals hoping to cash in on hold-ups over the festive season.

“Christmas is traditionally a season when criminals get greedy,” said Det Supt Bob Cummings, from the Met’s Flying Squad.

“We see a peak in their activity this time of year. So these arrests are to send out a clear message that we are cracking down on anyone involved in commercial robberies—they will be caught.

“It’s not worth the risk of spending Christmas behind bars.”

The Flying Squad is also carrying out extra patrols on vehicle routes known to have been targets for transit heists.

Police stations across London are also being involved with more rapid response’ squad cars and extra neighbourhood patrols to give a high visibility presence around commercial premises such as high street banks and bookmakers which are traditionally most at risk at Christmas.

Part of the crackdown involves using ultraviolet torches which can identify if a suspect has been in contact with any item covered with the Smart Water’ chemical version of DNA, an invisible fluid undetectable to the naked eye which is used to identify valuables and cash boxes in transit. It leaves a forensic fingerprint encoded with the owner’s details.

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The seven Christmas crackdown’ arrests in East London include a 31-year-old man and 28-year-old woman from the Limehouse-Poplar area who both remain in custody, the man on suspicion of robbery and the woman for conspiracy to rob.

Others arrests in East London were a 39-year-old in Plaistow charged with robbery, a 20-year-old in Forest Gate and a teenager of 17 in Dagenham on suspicion of transit heists, both released on police bail pending further investigations, a 34-year-old in Romford charged with robbery and a man in Ilford on suspicion of robbery who has been given police bail.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested at Islington in North London on suspicion of money laundering and bailed pending further enquiries.

Three men were arrested in South London, at Catford, Brixton and Clapham.

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