More than 700 arrests by police operation targeting burglars and carjackers 

Metropolitan and Essex Police gather as they are about to set off for the night on Operation Gambler

Metropolitan and Essex Police gather ahead of a night working on Operation Gambler. - Credit: Matt Clemenson

A cross-borough policing initiative has recorded more than 700 arrests, hitting the figure following a recent two-night operation. 

Operation Gambler, which was started a few years ago to tackle a sharp spike in the number of cars stolen in Essex and then dumped in Havering, is jointly led by Essex and Havering police forces. 

The operation is run twice every four weeks, during which the two forces target burglars, carjackers and a host of other offenders. 

This has so far led to more than 700 total arrests, including 27 at an operation at the end of February. 

Nine stolen vehicles were also recovered, totalling a value of more than £300,000. Arrests made were for offences including drink driving, possession of cannabis, and driving while disqualified. 

Sgt Ben Tanner of Havering Police described Operation Gambler as a "long-running and successful operation".

Cllr Ciaran White, cabinet member for community safety at Havering Council, who joined officers for the recent operation, said it is important “to keep our residents as safe as possible”. 

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He added the partnership “will continue to help tackle crime and towards the prevention of crime”.