Goods seized and arrests made in massive Islington licensing crackdown

A catalogue of illegal goods were seized and more than 30 arrests made in one of the capital’s biggest police crackdowns of the year which took place in Islington over the weekend.

Operation Condor targeted all aspects of licensing including pubs and clubs, unlicensed mini cabs, betting shops, driving licence fraud, gambling establishments, benefit fraud, under age alcohol sales, cigarettes and knives.

Police seized 16 illegal gaming machines, 163 litres of spirits, 395 bottles of wine, 8,000 foreign cigarettes and 10.25kg of shisha tobacco on which a total of around �8,000 of duty had been evaded.

The multi-agency operation led by Islington Police also included targeting taxi touts outside Fabric nightclub and 85 cars were stopped by officers – of which 71 were examined and two seized – and 20 drivers were reported for not displaying their ID badges.

During the crackdown on Friday night into Saturday police visited 28 licensed premises in Finsbury Park and Islington, arrested 33 people, issued 15 cannabis warnings and carried out more than 100 stop and searches in and around licensing premises in Finsbury and Clerkenwell.

Volunteer police cadets also visited 40 premises to speak to the owners about selling alcohol and cigarettes to underage people.

Met Police Commander Mak Chishty who led the operation said: “Licensing laws are there for good reason as they help protect us from danger. Breaking them is not acceptable. Operation Condor is about keeping our communities safe from harm. In our shops and supermarkets this means people do not sell knives, harmful substances or alcohol to young people; in our pubs and clubs it means that alcohol is sold and consumed in a responsible way, on our roads it means that vehicles, such as taxis are properly licensed and safe.”

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InspSteve Lewington from Islington Police said:” This was a hugely successful operation and demonstrates how well agencies and organisations can work together to tackle issues like licensing that have a knock on effect on the local community.”

Cllr Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Underage sales of alcohol and knives are totally unacceptable in our communities, as are smuggled alcohol and cigarettes. We will work with police to take action, as this excellent operation shows.”