An imitation gun, drugs and a hammer have been taken off the streets as a result of a proactive operation by the Territorial Support Group (TSG) to suppress gang violence in Croydon.
Officers from the TSG established a taskforce to disrupt gang activity in the Thornton Heath Recreation Grounds area last week. This followed recent violence and a growing concern of gang activity from the local community.
Sergeant Jon Sweatman from the TSG, said: “After deploying on Wednesday afternoon (5 August) we saw a group of males acting suspiciously near to the recreation grounds. After spotting police, the group quickly sprinted off but we caught up, making eight arrests.
“After searching their vehicle, we found an imitation handgun, a quantity of drugs and a hammer – it was clear to us why they were running. This is a welcomed seizure and we will now subject the weapon to forensic examination.”
All eight men, aged between 20 and 40, were arrested for possession of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle and robbery. They have subsequently been released under investigation.
This patrol was launched after close collaboration with Croydon Council. Further patrols are planned in order to suppress violence, robberies and gang activity in the community.
Sergeant Sweatman added: “This is a great example of how TSG units are supporting our frontline colleagues in tackling the scourge of violence across London. Every day, officers are deploying on intelligence led operations to seize potentially deadly weapons and help dismantle the toxic gangs throughout communities.
“Of course, we rely on help from the public in achieving this. If you have any information on violent crime, report it. You can all police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers. You will always remain anonymous, they will never ask for your name.”