More than £30,000 seized and 27 arrests made in joint operation to drive down violent crime.
On Monday, 8 June, officers from the Met worked alongside police colleagues from Essex, Kent and British Transport Police in a joint operation to apprehend violent criminals using the roads and rail networks to transport drugs in and out of London, Kent and Essex.
Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at fixed sites around the Dartford Crossing, and stopped all vehicles which made an activation.
A range of officers from the Met were involved, including the Violent Crime Taskforce, South East Violence Suppression Unit, Operation Venice, Dogs Support Unit, as well as Specialist Crime officers.
British Transport Police also conducted intelligence-led patrols on the trains in and out of London as well as transport hubs at key routes as part of the operation, to target those using the rail network to transport drugs.
The operation resulted in:
– 27 arrests for offences including: possession of points/blades, possession of drugs, being concerned in the supply of drugs
– Four knives recovered
– £32,000 cash seized
– 14 vehicles recovered (where through having no insurance or were stolen vehicles).
Detective Chief Inspector Shaun White, of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “We know that drugs and violence are linked, which is why operations like this one which disrupt drug supply across the capital are so important.
“Officers and teams across the Met are using a range of tactics to tackle the supply of drugs on the streets of London. Officers are working hard to stop Organised Crime Groups importing drugs into the UK; specialist teams are targeting those managing the supply – exploiting young and vulnerable people to transport the commodity across the UK – and operations like this are identifying those responsible for distributing these substances on the streets. There is often a fine line between suspect and victim in these circumstances, and specialist officers supported us throughout this operation.
“I would like to extend my thanks to all those who were involved and who have showed their unwavering dedication to tackling violence. Our work does not stop – we will continue to use tactics such as ANPR and all other lawful powers available to us to target violent crime in London.”
Detective Superintendent Mike Worrall, of the Kent Police Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: “County lines gang members cause great harm within our communities and we are committed to tackling the threats posed by those involved in this type of serious criminality.
“Kent Police takes a zero tolerance approach to those who prey on the vulnerable for their own financial gain, and who cause misery to others through exploitation, intimidation and sometimes extreme violence. We do not stand for it and have teams of experienced officers who are dedicated to dismantling drug supply.
“Tackling drug dealing is a responsibility shared by many police forces and other organisations across the county, and operations such as this show how we are committed to working with our neighbouring forces to help bring serious criminals to justice.”
Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, of Essex Police, said: “Working with our colleagues in the Met, Kent, and British Transport Police, we targeted the road and rail networks because we know these are the arteries of crime used by criminals associated with drugs and serious criminality.
“We disrupted a number of criminals, and we know even offences such as drug-driving and traffic offences are linked to some of our serial offenders and the few individuals responsible for our most harmful crimes.
“Crime has no borders, so joint operations such as this are key to disrupting criminals who cross into Essex and neighbouring counties.”
Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams, of the British Transport Police, said: “Since December, we’ve flooded the national railway network with operations targeting county lines drug dealing, and the violence and exploitation of children it’s often connected too.
“This has given us a deeper understanding of the scale of this issue and the impact it has on communities nationwide.
“Monday’s operation with our partner police forces was a continuation of these efforts, as we make cities and the transport networks that link them as hostile as possible for organised criminals.”
Even through this challenging pandemic officers across the Met have remained committed to tackling violence and as part of this, bringing those intent on peddling drugs to justice.
We are not complacent and would like to hear from anyone who has information about crime, those who carry a weapon, or those who exploit others for gain or revenge, while putting young people’s lives at risk.