An 18-month undercover sting operation, coordinated by the Metropolitan Police and Hackney Council led to the sentencing this week of more than 30 gang members.
The gang appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court between March 19 and March 23. Twenty-nine of the accused received custodial sentences, amounting to 71 years in total, for assorted drugs and firearms offences, including sentences of six years for two men, Simeon Collins and Lakhbir Gozra- both for supplying class-A drugs. Full details of the sentencing can be found here on the Metropolitan Police website.
The sting operation, dubbed “Operation Chalais”, saw police work with council housing and probation workers to set up a fake fashion business in Hackney, through which undercover officers collected information on two notorious local gangs, The Pembury Boys and The Ballance Boys.
The information collected by officers led to the identification and arrest of a number of drug dealers, and produced information that led to the recovery of a Sterling submachine gun that had been concealed in a childrens’ playground on the Pembury Estate.
Many of the arrests took place during a series of early morning raids in August last year, as ELL reported here. The raids came just a few days before extensive rioting in the area.
Detective Superintendent Lloyd Gardner, of the Met’s Trident Gang Crime Command attributed the operation’s success to the Police’s effective cooperation with Hackney Borough Council: “Operation Chalais has led to the imprisonment of some of the most dangerous gang members in Hackney Borough.”
“Hackney Police working in partnerships with Hackney Council has delivered a gang strategy that has seen sustained reductions in crime. Crime within Hackney Borough is now at its lowest level for 10 years.”
Hackney’s Council Cabinet Member for Crime, Sophie Linden, added: “The strong action taken by Council officers and Police during Operation Chalais, and the resulting sentences, sends out a clear message – gang violence will not be tolerated in Hackney.”
By George Coote