BUSTED: Camden Town police arrest 14 in Operation Penang
by Ben McPartland POLICE have smashed a gang suspected of major drug dealing in Camden Town, making 14 arrests on people as young as 16. The four-month undercover operation, codenamed Penang, saw 13 men and one woman between the ages of 16 and 39 arrested. T
POLICE have smashed a gang suspected of major drug dealing in Camden Town, making 14 arrests on people as young as 16.
The four-month undercover operation, codenamed Penang, saw 13 men and one woman between the ages of 16 and 39 arrested.
The initiative was part of the ongoing battle against drugs, violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the heart of Camden Town.
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The arrests were carried out on a series of dates in October. A large quantity of class A drugs and a stash of cash were also seized in the raids.
Police have charged 12 of the 14 arrested and remanded them in custody. Two men, aged 17 and 26, have been bailed pending further enquiries.
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The police are now planning to keep the pressure up on the drugs gangs by flooding the streets with uniformed officers in the run-up to Christmas.
Chief Supt Dominic Clout said: "Police activity will continue in the coming weeks and well into the Christmas period.
"We all need to work together now to help keep drugs and crime curtailed in Camden."
Another operation, codenamed Nardus, has been launched to target anti-social behaviour and drugs around Camden Road and the canal towpath.
Its main aim is to stop another gang coming in to fill the void left after the recent arrests.
More officers will be on patrol and will be handing out on-the-spot fines for any public order offences and to make sure the crackdown on drug use in Camden Town carries on.
Detective Superintendent Jeremy Burton said: "Operation Nardus will be a prolonged and sustained approach to an area tackling drugs and drug-related crime.
"Operation Penang wasn't a one-off operation and it doesn't end police activity. There will be a combination of police action which will continue over the coming weeks and months.
"Tackling crime cannot be done alone and, with council funding and support, we have launched Operation Nardus. This will work in tandem with the Met's Operation Blunt 2, which ultimately aims to significantly reduce crime in Camden Town."
Cllr Keith Moffit, leader of Camden Council, is happy the work done by his staff and police has finally been rewarded.
"These operations send out a clear message that through working together we can tackle the crime which ruins lives and blights communities," he said.