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A two-week police operation has seen burglary rates cut by two-thirds and robbery by almost half in Tottenham Hale as police tackled a surge in reported crime.

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Reports of these crimes and anti-social behaviour by gang members and drug dealers rose significantly in Down Lane Park and the area around the Tottenham Hale gyratory system in September, prompting Haringey police to launch Operation Middleton.

They stepped up overt and undercover patrols over two weeks, carrying out 129 stop and searches on local gang members and making 26 arrests, including six for drug dealing, one for robbery, one for burglary and four for possession of knives.

Although police have yet to release details of any charges, they say burglary on the ward has dropped by 67 per cent and robbery by 44 per cent.

In July Tottenham Hale ward had 110 offences recorded, dropping to 105 in August. September’s figures have yet to be published.

Martin Ball, chairman of the Friends of Down Lane Park, said: “We are delighted with the police for the effective action taken in response to the concerns raised about the gang’s presence in the park. The gang were making it an unpleasant place to visit with their drug dealing, riding of motorbikes on pedestrian paths, vandalism, and sexist harassment of passers-by.

“Particularly pleasing is that our own Safer Neighbourhood Team have been pro-active in tackling the problem, and it was a glorious sight to watch the gang scarper at the arrival of the big van of the borough-wide team.

“The message for park users is that you are free to enjoy the space, but when your behaviour impacts negatively on others then you will be made to stop and will be removed from the park.

“The challenge now is for the council’s anti-social behaviour team to keep tabs on the gang so that they don’t simply take their reign of criminality elsewhere.”

Insp Craig Middleton, of Haringey’s Tasking Team who took part in the operation, said: “This operation should send out a clear message to criminals in the area that we will robustly deal with them and will not allow them to impact on the quality of life experienced by local residents.

“I would urge residents to help us combat burglary in the area by ensuring that they lock all windows and doors when out and not leave valuables on display. Where possible people should make use of timer switches to light their homes as the evenings become darker.

“If residents notice any suspicious activity they encouraged to contact us on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency”.

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