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Criminals on the run throughout Islington as massive police operation swings into action

PUBLISHED: 17:16 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:16 27 February 2013

Supt Steve Deehan

Supt Steve Deehan

Archant

Criminals were on the run this afternoon as 130 officers conducted more than 30 raids across the borough.

And as the Gazette went to press officers had already racked up five arrests for GBH, theft and drug offences and seized a property in Finsbury that was being used as a drug den in coordinated swoops targeting dealers, pawnbrokers, robbers, scrap metal yards and more.

Police have also been drafted in from across London to conduct weapons sweeps across the borough.

The operation – dubbed Big Wing – was designed to be highly visible and showcase the crime-fighting Islington Police do every day.

The day featured a host of activities the public could get involved with – including officers being briefed for a raid, something normally done in the bowels of Islington Police Station, live outside the N1 centre, in Parkfield Street, in full view of shoppers.

Police cadets also set up a crime prevention stall outside Angel Tube for people to ask questions and get tips on how to avoid falling prey to criminals – particularly the mobile phone thefts that blight the area.

Supt Steve Deehan, who co-ordinated the operation, said: “Islington mobilised its resources in a day of planned and co-ordinated activity tackling crime.

“We will stop those intent on committing the crime that harms our communities. We will take robust action and seek to prosecute all those involved in the criminality. We will also listen to our communities about the concerns they have and work together to make our streets safer.”

The Islington leg of Big Wing was part of a London-wide operation targeting criminals in all 32 boroughs.

Ch Supt Simon Letchford, from Scotland Yard, added: “Gang violence, drugs, and knife crime are serious, high harm crimes that can sadly have a devastating and lasting effect on communities.

“However, there are also many other issues which might be seen as ‘lower level’ offences, such as anti-social behaviour or uninsured drivers, that we know can and do blight the daily lives of too many people.

“Yesterday’s operation was about showing Londoners that we have listened to their concerns and we are committed to taking robust preventative and disruptive action to put a stop to this criminal activity and make their communities safer.“

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