Families evacuated following Romford firearms raids
PUBLISHED: 12:10 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 06 February 2019
Families who have been evacuated following a number of fire-arms raids in Romford in the early hours of this morning are being looked after at Central Park Leisure Centre.
In the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, February 6) 14 people were arrested as part of a major operation to target those believed to be in possession of firearms and linked to serious organised crime.
Searches at the locations in Harold Hill and Noak Hill are expected to continue for a few days, and any families affected by the searches are being offered temporary accommodation by the police, and Central Park Leisure Centre in Gooshays Drive is currently being used to provide shelter for those affected.
So far, officers have seized a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition, an imitation firearm, as well as large amounts of cash and a quantity of class B drugs, namely believed to be cannabis.
The suspects were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including possession of a firearm, indecent assault, grievous bodily harm, assault on police, possession of class B drugs, money laundering, theft of a vehicle and immigration offences.
They were arrested at one site in Lower Bedfords Road and two sites in Benskins Lane, Romford.
A message was sent to gym-goers this morning, informing them that classes would be cancelled for the next 48 hours.
It said: “Due to a police operation a number of residents are temporarily displaced from their homes and are being accommodated in the sports hall at Central Park Leisure Centre.
“All sports hall aerobics classes and other bookings will be cancelled for the next 48 hours.”
Supt Waheed Khan, who was part of the team that carried out the raids this morning told the Recorder: “We are working pro-actively to help those that may have been affected by the raids.
“It was a co-ordinated intervention over three different sites which we have been planning for a while.
“We are expecting more arrests to be made over the next few days.
“From my perspective the importance of this demonstration is that we are acting pro-actively on intelligence and anyone who has been affected by these raids please contact the police for any support we can offer.”