CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Police launch new operation to try and stop violence

Detective says he will arrest for 'any offence'

03 October, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli

POLICE have launched a new operation aimed at cracking down on those fuelling violence in the borough, after a spate of fatal attacks.

Detective Superintendent Dave Courcha said they want to arrest those at the top of gangs or drug networks and – with Al Capone tactics – they would even stop them for minor traffic offences.

He said that, despite seeing the number of stabbing victims decrease, they are considering whether the severity of violence is increasing.

“The intention of the operation is to arrest the people who are behind a drive in violence and increase those arrest numbers,” said Det Supt Courcha.

“It’s not about arresting the lower level criminality, it’s about getting to grips with the people that are causing crime and driving crime that results in the violence that we see, so the people driving and owning those drug markets.”

He added: “I will arrest them for any offence, from no insurance to concern and supply of a major drug network. “We will look at every opportunity to arrest the people we identify as being responsible. If we can show that they are linked into arranging acts of violence then we will arrest them for that.”

While Capone ran a murderous gangland operation in 1920s Chicago, his reign was ended by tax investigators. Det Supt Courcha said some of the violence and deaths are believed to be linked to gang crime and drug-related violence.

He said they believe some of the violence is between two rival groups referred to as Queen’s Crescent and Agar Grove.

“There’s a strong overlap, so often gangs operate and are organised to deal drugs and some violence is a result of those tensions and fights for those drug markets,” he said.

“Then some of it is once there has been an act of violence, some of it is reprisals for that violence.”

Camden and Islington’s borough commander, Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, said they were looking to go “further up the food chain” as it takes longer for them to come back and re-establish a market.

He told the New Journal: “We are going trying to go further up the river and block it off there before you get multiple streams of water.” He added: “If we do pick up any crime families, shutting those places down and evicting them and using all legal methods to take them out of Camden and put them somewhere else – with the right checks and balances in place – ultimately I just want the violence to stop completely and we will use any legitimate lawful tactic to make that happen.”

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