'Hawk' Swoop Draws Blank in Chiswick

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Police came away empty-handed after a raid on flats in Chiswick this morning (November 24th ) as part of a London- wide drugs swoop.

The raid, in which the doors of three properties were forced open by thirty policemen,was part of the anti-drugs 'Operation Hawk', which saw over 4,000 safer neighbourhood officers raiding properties across the capital. The move is part of a crackdown on crime by the new Police Commissioner, which aims to use intelligence from the local community passed on to safer neighbourhood teams.

However, the police did not find any Class A drugs in the Chiswick operation.

Sergeant Christopher Jones said: "It was disappointing that we didn't find any drugs.

"Intelligence connected the addresses together suggesting that the three people in these flats worked together, but this will show offenders that we will take action and will reassure residents that there is police presence in the area."

He said that despite the operation not ending in arrests it could still have positive effects on the community. Police believed that three people on the estate used the premises to deal class A drugs.

A spokesman for the Safer Neighbourhoods Team said that as of noon, police had executed nine drug warrants, five of them in Chiswick. Three suspects had been arrested for drug supply, not from the Chiswick area.

The police would continue their operation by executing nine warrants for wanted offenders in the Borough.

Operation Hawk, which continues until 7 p.m. will also involve closing brothels (none of which are in Chiswick), burglary reduction initiatives, road safety initiatives, patrols around schools and weapons sweeps.

The initiative is part of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's 'war on crime' , and involved 4,000 Safer Neighbourhoods officers and PCSOs, supported by specialist colleagues, including the Dogs Unit and Territorial Support Groups, carrying out "robust and visible operations' in one day across London's 32 boroughs. By 08:30 hours, the police had made 68 arrests across the city.

Officers are responding directly to community intelligence to target drug dealers, perpetrators of anti-social behaviour and other criminals. The Met is also using Twitter to post live updates throughout the day.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said; "The idea is that we take our intelligence to a magistrate, ask for a warrant and ' put the doors in' as quickly as possible right across London.

"It's a renewed emphasis on Safer Neighbourhoods teams making the most of local intelligence and acting on it. To help us do this we need to encourage communities to talk to us and report concerns but then we must reward this trust, by delivering swift results and telling people what action we have taken."

He added that communities were likely to see more operations of this kind from their Safer Neighbourhood teams.

Operation Hawk began with a public call to action through a series of radio ads launched on November 16, urging Londoners to pass on community intelligence.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Criminals beware - we're stepping up a gear to crack down on the drug dealers, burglars and thieves that make our lives a misery ."

To find out more, or to find out how to get in touch with your local Safer Neighbourhood team,visit : www.met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods

November 24, 2011

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