A notorious London street identified as a hotbed for mobile phone crime was raided by a huge police team last week (pictured), after T-Mobile supplied police with claims that a large number of phones reported stolen by its customers were being traced to one street.
Nineteen addresses on Blackstock Road in the Finsbury Park area of north London were raided in one of the largest operations to take place in London. The operation resulted in the recovery of 130 stolen mobile phones and more than 70 arrests.
Mobile networks worked with the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) and the Metropolitan police to help them pinpoint the area, which police believed to be a centre for crime in the capital.
Chief superintendent Bob Carr of Islington Borough Police, who was in charge of the operation, 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.’
Carr said police believed the criminals were using the credit left on the stolen phones to call abroad before they were sold on.
Two members of the NMPCU joined over 1,000 officers who targeted the 19 addresses in London and a further 37 addresses in towns and cities across the country.
The ongoing operation, carried out with British Transport Police and the Border and Immigration Agency, was designed to arrest those believed to be involved in a range of crimes, including handling stolen property, drug dealing and the production of forged documents.
As well as the stolen mobile phones, police recovered 120 laptops, 110 cameras, 32 iPods and 20 sat nav devices.
Carr added: ‘The operation has taken many months in the planning, and collating intelligence to ensure that we are targeting the right individuals.
‘We cannot allow people to be perceived as successful through their criminality to have a negative impact on our communities; in particular young people.’
A T-Mobile spokeswoman said the network was unable to comment.