Police swoop on Finsbury gang’s next generation

Police hit several premises in pre-dawn raids

Police hit several premises in pre-dawn raids - Credit: Archant

A shotgun, hunting knives and huge lumps of crack cocaine were seized as police targeted houses across Finsbury on Tuesday morning in another bid to crush an infamous street gang.

Police gather at before dawn

Police gather at before dawn - Credit: Archant

An army of almost 150 officers assembled before dawn, then headed to 12 addresses in the south of the borough to capture members of the EC1 gang – also known as Easy Cash – which had resurfaced after its kingpin and most senior members were jailed in 2012.

The gang was all but disbanded, but the next generation of younger relatives and associates had stepped up to start controlling the class A drugs trade.

Officers in riot gear raided homes in Lever Street, Radnor Street, Skinner Street, St John Street, Tompion Street and Hermit Street in Finsbury, Charlton Place in Islington, and Swinton Street in King’s Cross.

Police smashed their way into three flats in Patrick Coman House, on the Finsbury Estate, off St John’s Way.

In one, where two women and a newborn baby were sleeping, officers found a shotgun, a large hunting knife, a flick knife and a rucksack with more than 100 wraps and a “massive lump” of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of up to £100,000.

Det Sgt Steve Ramshaw, who helped co-ordinate the operation, said: “It’s been really positive. We were targeting individuals involved with the supply of class A drugs. As well as these arrests, we have identified further suspects we will be going after very soon.

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“With operations like this, you find it has a big impact on the area for six months and the problem creeps back. But if everything else goes to plan, today’s operation should make a big difference.”

The raids led to a total of 13 arrests for drugs, firearms, money laundering, handling stolen goods and breaching licences, as well as seizure of thousands of pounds in cash and more than half a kilo of crack.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “The police did a fantastic job with lots of arrests. We have to be tough as old boots with these dangerous youngsters.

“We are concerned that the next generation is creeping forward into groups of organised gangs, but we will show them that the same thing that happened to the older siblings is going to happen to them; they will go to prison.

“And we are keeping our eyes on young people as young as nine and 10, making sure they are attending school and behaving.

“We are under no illusions that this is an immediate solution, but we hope to affect future generations.”

The action follows widespread raids last week, which saw a number of people arrested in connection with the suspected activities of Islington’s notorious crime gang, the Adams Family.