December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
A major crackdown across London has seen more than 400 arrests and the seizure of thousands of pounds worth of contraband, weapons, cash and counterfeit goods.
This is the fifth such operation by the Met to tackle crimes relating to licensing issues in the capital, nicknamed Operation Condor.
Last weekend saw officers from Territorial Policing join forces with specialist officers and partners to carry out 942 separate activities, targeting offences including licence breaches by venues and the selling of knives, alcohol and cigarettes to under-age customers, tax avoidance and immigration fraud.
Around 3,800 officers were deployed during the course of the initiative, carrying out operations ranging from sex worker card patrols and brothel visits, targeting of unlicensed mini cabs and taxi touts, enforcement of no drinking zones and spot checks carried out at bars, pubs and nightclubs.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “By the end of the operation a total of 3,740 licensed premises had been visited, of which almost 806 were subjected to a full licensing inspection, entailing officers demanding the immediate production of all relevant documents.
“Arrests were made for a range of offences including drugs, attempted rape, immigration, public order, burglary, robbery, assault and weapons.”
Police also seized quantities of Class A and B drugs, thousands of pounds in cash and weapons including a BB gun, knifes and bullets were recovered and more than 34,500 contraband cigarettes were seized from premises across the capital, along with hundreds of bottles of wine; beer and spirits.
Commander Mak Chishty, the lead officer for the operation, said: “This is our fifth Operation Condor to date and yet again we have witnessed a raft of excellent results, obtained by our concerted efforts involving thousands of officers being deployed all over London over a 48 hour period, together with the support provided by our key partners in other agencies.
“Licensing related crime affects many of our daily activities, from shops and supermarkets who sell knives or alcohol to young people and pubs and clubs who increase the risk of anti social behaviour and violence by not ensuring alcohol is sold responsibly or drugs excluded, to those road users who put us all at risk by driving unlicensed, unsafe vehicles.
“These are just some of the areas that impact our communities we have repeatedly targeted under Operation Condors to date and we will continue to commit resources to these problems in order to reduce crime and increase public confidence.”
The Met confirmed to date Operation Condor has resulted in approximately 1,870 arrests and visits to more than 20,000 licensed premises as well as the compulsory closure of dozens of problem venues ranging from crack houses to nightclubs.