London

Crime in Dalston 'drops 34%' after drug crackdown

Heroin
Image caption Police were targeting the sale of heroin and crack in the area

Crime in north-east London has dropped by a third since a gang of drug dealers was taken off the streets in July, police have claimed.

Officers arrested 16 people, 15 of whom are now serving sentences behind bars.

The dealers were caught during a joint crackdown by the Metropolitan Police and Hackney Council to target class A drugs around Ridley Road Market.

Detectives say crime there has since fallen by more than 34% in six months.

Violent crime has reportedly fallen by 61% in the area, while there has been a reduction in the number of bike thefts, police said.

Officers say the falls are due to a reduction of drugs available in the area, meaning users are not resorting to crime locally to feed their habits.

Det Insp Rhys Willis said: "The community were extremely concerned about blatant drug dealing in this market.

"We effectively closed the market and swept up all of the dealers.

"Although time consuming and costly, the end results illustrate these operations work."

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: "This should serve as a warning to the minority involved in criminality that their behaviour will not be tolerated in Hackney."

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