Islington police chief: I want my patch to be the safest

”I want to make Islington the safest borough in London” – that is the bold ambition of the new police chief.

Speaking as officers mounted a 24-hour blitz on drug crime, which saw search warrants carried out across the borough, Det Ch Supt Gerry Campbell made it clear such operations will become far more frequent under his leadership.

Det Ch Supt Campbell, who took up his post as borough commander three weeks ago, said: “This operation is about our core business. As far as I’m concerned, in terms of my absolute commitment to the people of Islington to make this borough the safest in London, we will be doing this style of operation a lot more regularly.

“It’s my absolute commitment to deliver total policing and, for me, that means making Islington the safest borough in London.”

Last Thursday’s action saw 12 homes raided, 35 people arrested and a cannabis factory shut down in what was part of the London-wide Operation Hawk.

About 130 officers were involved in Islington and the Gazette joined one early morning raid on the Andover Estate, off Hornsey Road, Holloway, where a middle-aged woman and a 20-year-old man were arrested.

Suspected crack cocaine was recovered after it was thrown out of a window within seconds of police storming the property at about 7.30am, while a wrap of what was said to be speed was found in a purse.

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In all, there were eight arrests for possession with intent to supply and 13 for possession, plus arrests for grievous bodily harm, theft and other offences. Police seized quantities of class A and B drugs, including cocaine, crystal meth and cannabis.

Ch Insp Richard Padwell, who led the operation, said: “This is us saying we will take action and this is going to become business as usual.”

The council says it will try to evict convicted drug dealers from social housing. In the latest crime statistics issued by the Met for April, Islington recorded 2,353 crimes, which was ninth-highest total out of the 32 metropolitan boroughs.

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