Islington cafes raided in police crackdown
PUBLISHED: 15:27 22 July 2011 | UPDATED: 15:34 22 July 2011
Six men were arrested and £2,000 in cash seized during a three-pronged police swoop to crackdown on violent crime and robbery in Finsbury Park and Holloway.
Suspects were charged with drug and immigration offences, theft and handling stolen goods after almost 90 officers descended on the Nag’s Head shopping area, Holloway, Finsbury Park station and five cafés on July 6.
Stage one of the action, part of the Met’s London-wide Operation Target, saw police flood Nag’s Head to combat street robbery in the area.
Officers then raided the Tagine d’Or café, in Seven Sisters Road, where one man was arrested for having a false passport, Cafeteria de Hoggar, in Blackstock Road, where they arrested a man for handling stolen goods and seized £2,000 in cash and three stolen phones, one of which had been taken that morning, and Café Paradise, in Blackstock Road, where a further man was arrested for handling stolen goods.
Police also raided Café Salam, in Rock Street, where they made an arrest for possession of cannabis, and the Algerian Social Club, also in Rock Street, where a man was arrested for handling stolen goods. Another man was arrested in the street and charged with theft.
Finally, a large force patrolled near Finsbury Park station to mop up criminals flushed out by earlier operations and clamp down on violent crime reported there.
Insp Michael Cowie, who led the operation attended by the Gazette, said: “This has been going on in some of these cafés for years and years.
“We have known about it for a while and raided them before.
“Some of them have closed down and reopened under new management.
“Quite often it is not the owners, who are just trying to make a living, but the customers.
“We have been targeting some of these people for 18 months.”
Police were joined by officials from the Department of Work and Pensions and the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit in carrying out the combined crackdown on crime.
After the operation, Inspector Cowie said: “It was a very good success, just what we were aiming for.
“It sends out the right message about how we deal with the proceeds of robberies and burglaries and I am very proud of the lads.”