Search

Gang members arrested and cannabis factory found in Westminster police raids

PUBLISHED: 12:49 02 May 2012

A suspected gang member is arrested on Verdi Crescent

A suspected gang member is arrested on Verdi Crescent

Archant

Police chief warns North Westminster gangs could commit murder as 120 officers conduct dawn raids across the borough

Gangs in North Westminster could murder at any point, warns the police inspector tasked with cracking down on the worrying rise in gang violence in the borough.

Eight suspected violent gang members were arrested this morning as 120 officers simultaneously raided 17 homes in an operation to target gang members on the Westminster and Brent border.

Crack cocaine, a cannabis factory and an air pistol were all recovered as part of the operation which marked the start of an Operation Trident crackdown in North Westminster.

Giving a stark warning of the extent of the problem faced by police, Det Ch Insp Tim Champion from Trident said: “These gangs have the propensity to murder.

“We are in a challenging situation where we have youths carrying knives and when you put weapons in their hands it could end in murder.”

The coordinated raids at 6am today saw police officers target gang members from the Lisson Green Men, Mozart SMG and South Kilburn Bandits.

One 16-year-old arrested at his home in Verdi Crescent, Queen’s Park, is thought to be a prolific street robber and house burglar on bail for four offences.

Living in a four-bedroom flat with his eight family members, including a 10-month-old girl, the teenager was arrested for assaulting a member of court staff and possession of Class A drugs after two rocks of crack cocaine fell from a window during the raid.

Three suspected gang members were also arrested in a one-bedroom flat in the South Kilburn Estate off Carlton Vale after police found a cannabis factory in the middle of the living room containing a dozen fully-grown plants.

Westminster Ch Insp Louis Smith says patrols will be stepped up in the wake of the raids and weapons sweeps will take place in public areas.

“A series of knife and firearm attacks have happened over the past six to eight months in North Westminster,” he said.

“Precisely why it has increased I can’t say. The tit for tat attacks could come from something that we never find out about.

“There have been shootings and stabbings where any of them could have led to deaths.”

The dawn raids took place the day after Westminster Council announced £230,000 is to be spent on a dozen new CCTV cameras in Maida Hill and Queen’s Park to “increase community confidence” following the recent rise in serious youth violence.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Runners preparing for the YMCA North London’s Crouch End 10km event on Sunday May 21 can now join weekly training sessions every Tuesday evening up until race week.

12:57

A team of Hampstead schoolgirls have beaten 8,000 rivals to reach the final of a competition to find the best code breakers of the future.

The three boroughs, along with three other local authorities, each secured a share of £1.7 million from the government to support more residents affected by homelessness.

Yesterday, 13:45

On April 1 the resounding sounds of a “quiet drink” will echo around Hampstead as a group of rugby players return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their club.

Yesterday, 13:44

Students at St Anthony’s School for Girls embraced new technology by building robots and rockets as part of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) week.

Yesterday, 09:49

A community desperately trying to protect a Highgate nature reserve from traffic has slammed the council for offering developers a temporary licence to drive lorries over Parkland Walk.

Wed, 16:53

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has confirmed she is safe and well after a suspected terrorist attack near the Houses of Parliament.

Wed, 14:52

The Golders Green war memorial, designed without a crucifix because of the Jewish population in the area who had lost loved ones, could be knocked down and moved elsewhere.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

The Ham&High has teamed up with Weber® to celebrate the launch of its innovative Genesis® II collection at Weber® World at Sunshine Garden Centre in London.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now