Police have made 21 arrests, seized drugs worth £35,000 and discovered a small cannabis factory in Hoxton as part of a 19-month investigation.
The arrests follow a related series of dawn raids two weeks ago, which saw 18 people charged with drug-related offences.
Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, the officer leading the investigation said: “This has been a long term operation that targets some of the most dangerous and disruptive criminals in Hackney.”
The larger investigation, known as Operation Krakatoa, was a joint venture by the police and Hackney Council.
Matthew Horne, Hackney borough commander said: “For those who want to leave gangs there are options; for those that don’t there are operations like this one.”
Rupert George, head of communications at Release, a charity that offers advice on drugs and drugs law told Eastlondonlines: “Police operations like this rarely have anything more than a limited impact on the supply of drugs in an area.”
George said: “The trade can be displaced to other areas, but given the lively night life in Hoxton, it is likely that any gap in this lucrative market will soon be filled by another dealer. We would expect those arrested will only be minor players and the lion’s share of the profits will still be in the same hands.”
Harry Shapiro, director of communications and information at another charity, DrugScope, agreed: “There is no evidence that these operations will disrupt supplies for very long.”
However, Shapiro added: “It is important the local community see the police in action dealing with this kind of local nuisance.”
The operation involved the participation of the Council’s CCTV unit, the Crown Prosecution Service, Hackney’s Safer Neighbourhoods policing team, the Met’s Territorial Support Group and Dog Unit and Met Police Special Crime and Operations Command.