The drugs recovered were heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and cannabis. The suspected handgun was recovered at an address in Foxley Close, E8.
The warrants were executed in London, all the way across to Bristol, down to Plymouth and stretching up to Aberdeen in northeast Scotland.
Officers from the Met, Kent Police, Essex Police, Avon and Somerset Police, Devon and Cornwall Police and Police Scotland executed 29 warrants on the morning of Wednesday, 24 March to arrest individuals involved in the sale and distribution of Class A and B drugs.
20 of the addresses where the warrants were executed are within London.
16 people, aged between 25 and 43, were arrested and taken into custody. The arrests were on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs; one of those detained has also been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm.
Detective Inspector Tom Pearse, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “The supply and distribution of drugs doesn’t contain itself within the M25. It’s a fluid and toxic commodity that leaks out into the Home Counties and beyond, often leaving a trail of violence in its wake. By collaborating with other police forces, we have removed those in the middle levels, as well as those at the top of the chain who were making in excess of a million pounds a year.”
The operation started in April 2020 when officers received intelligence that a number of individuals in Hackney, east London were involved in supply Class A drugs. Through a number of tactics, they established the network’s supply routes across the UK and the individuals responsible for coordinating the supply in the regions. Today’s arrests mean that this particular criminal network are no longer able to operate and officers will be seeking to seize assets accrued via their criminal activities.
DI Pearse added: “These arrests will play a significant part in disrupting the drugs supply market and play a fundamental part in tackling violent crime in London and the surrounding areas.
“The proactive team responsible for delivering this operation have investigated the criminal network with tenacity and vigour, working long and anti-social hours week after week. After today they will move onto the next network and start the process over. It remains the case that there is no loyalty within the drug supply network and those involved in this exploitative trade.
“I would encourage anyone with information around drug supply and associated violence to share it with their local neighbourhood team or with Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.”
The independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111; people providing information do not have to leave their name.
The warrants were executed at the following addresses:
- Cropley Street, Hackney, N1
- Meadow Walk, South Woodford, Redbridge, E18
- Leatherhead Close, Hackney, N16
- Longbridge Road, Barking, IG11
- Foxley Close, E8
- Homerton Road, Hackney, E9
- Cortland Close, Ilford, IG8
- Hatton Gardens, EC1N
- Dunnock Close, Edmonton, Enfield, N9
- Harleston Close, E5
- Hoe Lane, Enfield, EN3
- River Gardens Walk, SE10
- Marks Road, Romford, RM7
- Southwold Road, Hackney, E5
- Amhurst Park, N16
- Shaftesbury Street, Hackney, N1
- Highbury Grange, Islington, N5
- Harrington Hill, E5
- Forest Drive West, Leytonstone, E11
- Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8
- Henderson Place, Plymouth, PL2
- Union Street, Plymouth, PL1
- Craigie Drive, Plymouth, PL1
- Kit Hill Crescent, Plymouth, PL5
- Viburnum Crescent, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32
- Elizabeth II Avenue, Berkhamsted, HP4
- Oliver Road, Shenfield, Essex, CM15
- St Anne’s Road, Mountnessing, Brentwood, CM15
- Hillview Road, Aberdeen, AB15