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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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67 arrested as Met Police 'remove dangerous individuals from communities they're abusing'

The arrests were made under the Met Police’s Operation Puglia.

Image: Kirsty O'Connor via PA Images

ALMOST 70 PEOPLE have been arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) this week during an operation targeting people who are involved in the exploitation of vulnerable people.

This morning, Met Police carried out a series of dawn raids at 11 addresses in central and west London leading to the arrest of eight men.

These raids were part of a wider operation being carried out this week under Operation Puglia.

Operation Puglia is a proactive and intelligence-led police operation across Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster, targeting “men of violence” and their associates who are known to be habitual knife carriers and who are involved in the exploitation of vulnerable people.

The operation comes in response to local community concerns.

Officers carried out a total of 70 search warrants across London throughout the week and 67 individuals were arrested.

46 of those have been charged with a total of 210 drug supply and related offences. The eight arrested today, aged between 19 and 66, remain in custody.

Three individuals have been released under investigation and one received a caution. Met Police have said they are awaiting an update in respect to the remaining nine people arrested.

Those arrested include 18 teenagers, the youngest being 15 years old. 17 of those have been charged.

All of the teenagers were taken to the Met Police’s first safeguarding custody facility, which included partners from the local authorities, social services the third sector organisations. Met Police said they have managed these offenders with a view to diverting them from crime in the future.

‘A major and complex enquiry’ 

Operation Puglia has required 2,775 police officers and staff from across London to deliver, according to Met Police.

The group of offenders identified have had a significant impact to London’s local communities, with them linked to more than 860 crimes, including violence, weapon offences and discharge of firearms.

“Operation Puglia continues to be a large, major and complex enquiry that is removing violent and dangerous individuals and groups from the communities they are abusing,” Detective Superintendent Raffaele D’Orsi, the officer in charge of the operation, said.

This is one of the largest investigations and numbers of arrests that the MPS has ever undertaken.

“We have already seen that the overwhelming evidence secured by the investigation team has led to numerous Operation Puglia subjects pleading guilty at court,” he said.

Comments are closed as individuals have been charged. 

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