Police have closed a business after raids and arrests as part of a crackdown on drugs and violence in Finsbury Park.

Metropolitan Police officers from Islington, Haringey, and Hackney took part in the operation, raiding three businesses in Blackstock Road on December 6.

In total seven arrests were made for suspected crimes including burglary, robbery and drug-related activity.

A closure notice has been issued to one local business. This paper has asked for more details about which business is affected and why this notice was made.

The operation – carried out in collaboration with Islington, Haringey, and Hackney councils and British Transport Police – was the first day of action in a new initiative termed ‘Love Finsbury Park’.

It builds on the supposed success of other schemes that use three distinct phases – ‘clear, hold, build’ – to target “problem hotspots” within communities.

Islington Superintendent Jack May-Robinson said that the action on December 6 forms part of the initial ‘clear’ phase of the initiative, and was carried out based on intelligence from local people.

Islington Gazette: Islington Superintendent Jack May-RobinsonIslington Superintendent Jack May-Robinson (Image: Metropolitan Police)

He said: “Finsbury Park as a location has significant safety concerns linked to drug-dealing and drug use, violence, and violence against women and girls.

“Some testimonials have spoken about women being scared to go down Blackstock Road because of groups congregating.”

Superintendent May-Robinson added that similar enforcement action can be expected in the coming weeks and months as part of the initial phase.

In Barnet, a similar operation carried out at Grahame Park estate earlier this year resulted in 160 people being arrested on suspicion of almost 300 different offences over a two month period.

Hackney Inspector Andrew Du, who was the tactical lead for the operation on December 6, said police worked with local people in identifying problem areas.

He said: “It was very much a 'you said, we did' initiative. The intelligence has come from the community, the information has come from the community.

“It’s not just about delivering the warrants. It’s actually about providing our businesses, our communities with that reassurance and communication about what’s gone on.

“For obvious reasons, we weren’t able to communicate with the public prior to it.

“But it’s community-led, the public has said that this type of activity is the type of activity they will support.

“I’m pleased to report that there’s been nothing but positive feedback all around.”

Islington Gazette: Three businesses were targeted on December 6Three businesses were targeted on December 6 (Image: Metropolitan Police)

Following the initial phase of the initiative, during which further targeted arrests are expected, the operation will begin to focus on ‘hold’ and ‘build’.

The second phase is designed to try and prevent offenders moving in to fill the void left in the wake of the policing operation, while ‘build’ involves addressing the root causes of criminality.

Specific actions that will be taken during these phases are yet to be decided, but Superintendent May-Robinson gave investment in CCTV and lighting, and a review of youth provision in the area, as examples.

The operation is also expected to extend beyond Blackstock Road and into other parts of Finsbury Park.

Inspector Du said: “It doesn’t necessarily just encompass what we consider the problem hotspots.

“What we don’t want is displacement. We are not moving the problem around.

“We are cocooning the problem, dealing with it in its entirety and making sure it’s no longer a problem.”