Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police
An anti-drug supply operation across East Area Policing Command has resulted in the closure of five cannabis factories.
Officers from the East Area Command Drug Focus Desk, supported by colleagues from the Violence Suppression Unit, have executed five warrants at addresses across Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham resulting in the seizure of more than 300 cannabis plants, drug cultivation equipment and over £10,000 in cash.
The intelligence led operation targeted five addresses in Romford, Barking and Ilford during the week long operation which started on Monday, 12 October.
Two men were arrested during the raids:
[A] A 38-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis, abstracting electricity and criminal damage. He was taken to an east London police station and is currently on police bail to return on a date in late November.
[B] A 35-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of production and supply of cannabis. He was taken to an east London police station and is currently on police bail to return on a date in late November.
All drugs and equipment has been removed from the addresses.
Detective Inspector Dean Grafton of the East Area Command Drugs Focus Desk said: “The production of drugs, especially Cannabis, is a key driver in both serious and organised crime. It has clear links to violence, weapons and criminal exploitation.
“The violence suppression unit, drugs focus desk and our neighbourhoods policing teams are committed to working with our borough partners to eliminate cannabis factories and the violence associated with them.
“Working together, we are acting on information provided to us by the public and partner agencies to target those involved in this illegal activity that has a hugely detrimental effect on the quality of life for the law-abiding community.
“This operation, code-named ‘Operation Brancaster’, marks the beginning of an ongoing continuous schedule of activity challenging and disrupting the production and supply of illegal drugs across the tri-borough area.
“I urge anyone who has information relating to drug cultivation or supply to contact us without delay. If you don’t want to speak directly to us, call Crimestoppers anonymously, but please do make that call and help us to remove drug dealers from your area.”
+ The Drugs Focus Desk is a small team of officers who compile information and intelligence linked to drug production and supply. They coordinate and execute drug supply investigations and operations alongside their colleagues on the Violence Suppression Unit and support detectives in the wider CID unit.
Since the desk was established in July 2020, the number of charges for supply offences across the three boroughs has doubled.
STATS: July – September 2019 – 20 suspects charged relating to drug supply offences.
July – September 2020 – 47 suspects charged relating to drug supply offences.