Large-scale police operation sees 17 arrested in connection with drug crimes around Ilford Station

Ilford Station.

Ilford Station. - Credit: Archant

A series of early morning raids yesterday (Thursday) have seen 17 people arrested in connection with anti-social behaviour and drug crime in and around Ilford rail station.

The result of months of intelligence gathering, the large scale initiative, dubbed Operation Reclaim, saw officers from the British Transport Police (BTP) Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Council combine resources to target the source of the problem.

Det Ch Insp Sam Blackburn, of British Transport Police, said: “The execution of these warrants yesterday (Thursday) follows a protracted intelligence led investigation relating to drug dealing around Ilford station.

“The raids send a clear message to those involved in criminal and anti-social behaviour, that we will pursue them relentlessly. It also reassures the travelling public and the local community that together with our partners in the Met and Redbridge council we are working tirelessly to make the station and the area around it a hostile place for any criminals to operate.”

Launched back in February, the aim of Operation Parish was to use constant patrolling by both plain clothed and uniformed police as well as a wide range of other methods to ensure residents and staff felt safe while using Ilford station.

Redbridge Police Borough Commander Mandy Beacher, of the Met, said: “Together with British Transport Police and Redbridge council we are committed to tackling both the criminal and anti-social behaviour associated in and around Ilford Station.

“This area is the gateway to our town centre, its businesses and residents.

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“As a partnership we are very proud that Redbridge continues to achieve the largest reduction in neighbourhood crime across the capital, but we are determined that people should feel safe and enjoy the same quality of life wherever they live within the Borough.”

The raids saw 17 people arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A & B Drugs, each of these will appear before Highbury Magistrates Court today (Friday September 2).

Recorder reporter Matthew Clemenson joined members of the British Transport police on one of the early morning raids, to read his exclusive account be sure to pick up a copy of next week’s Ilford Recorder, on sale from Thursday.