600 Police Swoop on Mobile Crime Hotspot

An army of more than 600 police marched onto a notorious crime ridden street where up to 19 businesses are allegedly involved in most mobile phone crime in the country.
Blackstock Road in North London was sealed off as the police swooped onto known criminal businesses in an unprecedented show of force, raiding 19 cafes and other businesses including a halal butcher, a convenience store and a greengrocer.

Thought to be the centre of mobile phone crime, T-Mobile claimed that 40% of all handsets reported stolen ended up in Blackstock Road, being used to call abroad before being sold on.

Operation commander, Chief superintendent Bob Carr of Islington Borough Police said: ‘T-Mobile stated that of all phones reported stolen, where phone calls had been made over the price of £10, 42% of those were made in the vicinity of the mast nearest Blackstock Road.’

Officers recovered more than 300 mobile phone handsets, 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 iPods and dozens of satellite navigation systems.

Carr said the scale of the raid was ‘unprecedented’ but stressed the amount of police was necessary "The whole purpose of visiting with this number of officers is to make sure the people you are trying to arrest do not feel they can fight their way out."

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