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221 held in licensing crimes probe

Police have made more than 200 arrests in a major operation cracking down on crimes relating to licensing issues.

Around 4,000 officers are taking part in the latest Operation Condor, targeting those who flout licensing rules, focusing on offences including licence breaches by venues, the selling of knives, alcohol and cigarettes to under-age customers, drugs, tax avoidance and immigration fraud.

Last night officers made 221 arrests for offences like drug dealing, theft, burglary, robbery, grievious bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons as well as immigration offences, Scotland Yard said.

Officers also visited 456 licensed premises across London and executed 13 warrants.

Borough officers, and partner agencies , will be carrying out a range of operations, from enforcement of no drinking zones and spot checks carried out at bars, pubs and nightclubs to sex worker card patrols and brothel visits.

There will also be a focus on reducing the risk of cab-based sexual offending, taxi touting, illegal plying for hire and other cab-related offences.

Acting commander Carl Bussey, leading the operation, said: “Operation Condor targets those who flout licensing laws, for example, by selling knives, alcohol and harmful substances to under-age youngsters; dealing drugs in pubs and clubs and illegal taxi touts.

“By working with our partner agencies, we aim to make sure that crime does not pay and that public safety is maintained over this busy bank holiday weekend. This is our seventh operation to date and we will continue to commit resources to these problems in order to reduce crime and increase public confidence.”

The latest Operation Condor was running over a 48-hour period taking in yesterday and today.

Operation Condor has so far resulted in more than 2,200 arrests and visits to more than 20,000 licensed premises as well as the compulsory closure of dozens of problem venues ranging from crack houses to nightclubs.

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