Police seize 350 bags of heroin and crack in Ilford

More than 25 drug related arrests were made in the town centre. Picture: Google Maps

More than 25 drug related arrests were made in the town centre. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

More than 100 arrests have been made, 350 wraps of heroin seized and seven child abduction warning notices issued in Ilford between September 2017 and January 2018.

Officers targeted the town centre as part of operation Chesapeake. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Officers targeted the town centre as part of operation Chesapeake. Picture: Ellena Cruse - Credit: Archant

As part of Operation Chesapeake, Ilford town centre police tackled child sexual exploitation, drug dealing, and anti-social behaviour.

The aim of the proactive operation was to disrupt groups involved in criminality.

During the course of the operation, a number of teenage females were identified as being at risk of exploitation.

Partnership working between the Met, Redbridge Council and social service resulted in safeguards being put in place to protect vulnerable girls and women.


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The seven child abduction warning notices that were issued means that men who are seeking to exploit these teens will be prevented from contacting them.

Sgt Lee Wilkinson, of Ilford town centre police team, said a mixture of tactics was used as part of the operation and the High Road was flooded with high vis police jackets one day and then plainclothes officers the next.

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“It was a success,” he told a Redbridge Council scrutiny

meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford on Tuesday, January 9.

“A lot of it was down to the efforts of my team who would sometimes work 16/17-hour days.

“We are taking out the key

players and if you do that the rest will disappear.”

As well as protecting vulnerable girls, the team seized large amounts of cannabis, and 350 wraps of heroin and crack.

Out of the 110 arrests during

this period, 27 were for drug possession, 25 were for theft offences including handling stolen good and 22 were for court offences such as a breach of court order or recall to prison.

In addition, the team seized

knives, baseball bats, knuckle duster and imitation firearms.

There was also a plainclothes operation to target pigeon feeders.

Another officer at Redbridge Town Hall said: “The light and shade approach in the last 12 months really has brought some successes.

“Things aren’t as bad as 2016 (when a gang of drug dealers were operating outside the station) but some of the members came back so we took action.”

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