Police drugs raid closes High Street and roads in town centre

Dozens of police, some believed to be from specialist drugs units, descended on Katharine Street this morning in a raid on dealers suspected of operating in the town centre.

Met operation: police in helmets and with riot shields gathered in Katharine Street this morning

Some residents were evacuated from flats overlooking the High Street as a precaution, and while a man thought to be wanted by the police hurled missiles at officers, there were no reports of any injuries.

While some observers may have hoped that the raid was on those in the Town Hall responsible for crashing the council’s finances, sources confirmed that the focus of the Met’s attention was the part-demolished, mostly derelict St George’s Walk office buildings on the other side of the road.

Katharine Street and part of the High Street were closed.

According to one eyewitness, “Lots of police in protective gear, helmets and shields.

Road closures: Katharine Street and parts of Croydon High Street were closed by police for a couple of hours this morning. Pic: @Imberbus

“It appears to be centred near Snappy Snaps and Sam’s Chicken shop on the High Street. Some police monitoring Surrey Street but the market is open.”

Some reports claiming the police were armed were not confirmed, although it was reported that one man was resisting arrest by throwing objects at the police.

As one Twitter wag put it: “Either Toni and Guy are offering discount haircuts to police in Croydon or its all kicking off just now.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed to Inside Croydon that the raid was a co-ordinated operation by the drugs squad.

Sharp cuts: how the police raid was seen by one Twitter user

In a statement issued to Inside Croydon, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said, “Officers were called at 08.10 on Wednesday, 1 June to High Street Croydon, near the junction with Katherine Street.

“A man who is suspected to be wanted by police was believed to be in a building at the location.

“Officers attended and a man threw items of furniture into the street. Some members of the public have been evacuated from their flats to ensure their safety.”

The police said that ambulance and fire services were called in as a precaution, but there had been no reports of any injuries.

According to Croydon Council, the road closures had been removed by 2pm this afternoon.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Police drugs raid closes High Street and roads in town centre

  1. Lewis White says:

    I wonder how many non-armed police in uniform are seen patrolling the High Street and Central Croydon in normal times ?

    A visible police presence is a rarity nowadays. Even 15 years ago.

    I wouldn’t want to see Police wasting their time by patrolling all the time, but the balance between presence and absence from the shopping area of Coulsdon–and Croydon Town centre– currently seems to be in the region of approximatyely 0% visible uniformed presence.

    Of course I am not in the town centre all the time, but visit it randomly on most days.
    In 18 years of living here, I have only once seen a uniformed police officer in Coulsdon Town Centre, other than when a lot of police arrived in cars at an incident.

    Local officers in neighbourhood teams covering Coulsdon are based at New Addington, so presumably catch the tram and bus before they can clock on in downtown Coulsdon. I wonder how much time is spent in travelling ? No doubt their presence on public transport is a positive for travelers, but it would be nice to see them “on the patch”.

    In Croydon recently I was sitting at a cafe and saw what I realised must have been a drug / money swap in the street outside. I pondered as to who would be buying the drugs– was it “happy baccy” to help the 50-70 something suburbanites to chill in the evenings , or something stronger for the sadly addicted? Would the drug suppliers be forced out of business if Cannabis were legalised and sold in vape shops, shoe repair and key cutting establishments or in the remaining news/ tobacconists?

    Would there be redundancies among the ranks of the County Lines local distrubutors, or would that nice chap who owns Timpsons offer them jobs, allowing them to learn how to fix shoe heels and cut keys- and would they manage to resist the temptation to apply their transferable skills to breaking into houses ?

    With regard to lack of a visible police presence, a Croydon trader recently told me that his best customers are shop lifters. Sadly they don’t actually pay the trader I was speaking to, but regard him as a source of free sandwich lunches.

    I wonder how often he gets a visit from the local beat bobby, what ever they are called nowadays, or should I say “if” he gets a visit ?

    Street crime gives a place a nasty feeling. And criminals like a vacuum– like a town centre empty of police.

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