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Heroin cops raid house in leafy Primrose Hill street

Jon Snow: 'That's what I call neighbourhood policing'

01 March, 2017 — By William McLennan

Officers get ready to move in

THE early morning peace was shattered in Primrose Hill on Friday as police carried out a series of simultaneous raids targeting the trade of crack cocaine and heroin.

More than two dozen officers strode past the Victorian terraces lining Gloucester Avenue and Fitzroy Road, once home to literary greats including William Blake and WB Yeats, before using battering rams to smash their way into three homes.

The operation, led by the Camden Town and Primrose Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team, came in response to months of complaints from residents and businesses about drug dealing around Fitzroy Road.

The raids formed the second part of the operation, which began with the arrest and imprisonment of John Payne, for attempted burglary. Officers said they discovered drugs worth more than £5,000 with the help of a sniffer dog, called Indie.

Among the items found were dozens of wraps, believed to contain crack and heroin ready for street sale. Several cannabis plants were also discovered, police said. Six people were arrested Police said it was part of a “long-running, proactive operation we have been running since September”.

Some of the drugs police say they found during the raid

Reports began to emerge towards the end of last year about an increase in drug deals being carried out on the quiet streets of Primrose Hill. One local person referred in an objection to a planning application, to the “existing problematic situation of motorcycle riders, allegedly delivering or collecting drugs”.

Another neighbour complained of “street trading of drugs in open sight” adding that the corner of Chalcot Road was “in danger of becoming an even more regular drug pick-up/drop-off point which will, of course, diminish the area’s quality of life considerably”.

Police footage

Sgt Nick Clarke said: “Drugs are the number one priority in the ward and it’s something we have to deal with. That was the problem for Fitzroy Road and to solve that problem we set about trying to make a meaningful, long-lasting change.”

Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, responding to a tweet outlining the operation, wrote: “That’s what I call neighbourhood policing…!”

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