A total of eight suspected drug dealers were arrested today as police swept across Notting Hill on dawn raids following months of stabbings.
Around 100 police officers took in six males and two females from a number of addresses in North Kensington and Paddington following nearly two months of surveillance.
All part of Operation Capulet, the long-term campaign is aimed at dismantling and disrupting gang-related criminality and drug dealing in the area in response to six non-fatal stabbings in the north of Kensington and Chelsea since January which police believe are related to drug dealing.
Most of the suspects arrested are thought to have been filling in for drug dealers who are currently in jail after being sentenced last August for selling crack cocaine and heroin in the area.
The eight suspects were arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences, including conspiracy to supply class A drugs such as crack cocaine on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea and were placed in custody at a central London police station.
During the raids, attended by getwestlondon reporter Alix Culbertson, a large quantity of class A and class B drugs, mainly cannabis, were seized alongside knives, mobile phones and massive quantities of cash. At one address, ten mobiles phones were hauled in.
Kensington and Chelsea’s borough commander, Adrian Roberts, said: “Today’s series of warrants and arrests are as a direct result of a recent spate of violent incidents in Notting Hill.
“Working with our partners in the local authority and with key stakeholders, my teams have spent considerable time in seeking to understand and respond to this increase in violence; and I believe that this is an excellent example of dynamic and collaborative working in action.
“I want to re-iterate that Kensington and Chelsea is one of the safest places to live in the capital and we will not tolerate any threat that could undermine that; and that includes drug dealing or violence on our streets.”
DCI Willis, head of Chelsea CID, added that he was sure the arrests will have a positive affect in the community following the drug-related stabbings.
The operation involved a number of collaborations, including the dogs unit, neighbourhood policing teams, the council and housing authorities.