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04-12-07, 12:30 PM #1
Police raid ex-Rastafarian temple
Twenty-three people have been arrested in an armed raid on a former Rastafarian temple in south London.
About 250 officers targeted the 32-room property in St Agnes Place, Kennington, in the early hours.
The site, seen as the focal point for the UK's Rastafarian community, was receiving up to 600 visits a day, mostly for drugs, police said.
Kilogrammes of cannabis, some crack cocaine and ammunition were found inside, said police.
The search of the property is expected to take up to three days.
The site had been under 24-hour surveillance for the past six months, police said.
Lambeth Borough Commander Martin Bridger said there were different rooms for different drugs.
"If you were there to buy cannabis, you were probably directed to one room," he said.
"If you were there to buy crack cocaine, you were directed to another room."
Evidence was gathered against a core of about 12 people suspected of drug dealing since the operation began last October.
An explosive which goes off with a large bang, was used to distract those inside the premises as officers filed in.
It made some residents believe they had heard gun shots, but a police spokesman said no weapons were used.
Reggae legend Bob Marley is believed to have been a frequent visitor to the temple, thought to be London's oldest squat, in the 70s.
"It was a place of worship," said Commander Bridger.
"It's the headquarters for the Rastafarian community for the UK, let alone Lambeth, and we're proud of that.
"But the temple's managers said it had been taken over by drug dealers and was no longer being used as a place of worship."
Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed said the building was due to be demolished and worshippers would be offered an alternative site.
"I would like to make it clear that this is not an attack on our Rastafarian community - this is an attack on drug dealers and criminals," he said.
He said the police operation marked the launch of the borough's "get tough" policy on drug dealing.
"We're going to name and shame people who are caught buying drugs on our streets," he said.
"We will write to their employers, we will publish their pictures in the local newspapers."
04-12-07, 12:39 PM #2
Good for them.....Ill give it two thumbs up!!!!
In my opinion all communities around the world should publish a paper with the pictures of every person who is convicted of any crime. It might not shame all, but I know it would shame some."An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
"Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."
" I believe that forgiving them (Terrorist) is God's function. OUR job is to arrange the meeting."
General Norman Schwartzkopf
Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
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04-13-07, 05:33 AM #3
They actually used two six bang, Nico Flashbangs for distraction.To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.
I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!
It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!
04-13-07, 05:47 AM #4
"It was a place of worship," said Commander Bridger.
Huh??? Tyrone Biggums inbound!
"Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"
04-14-07, 12:13 PM #5
Three charged after temple raid
Update to the original story, three people have been charged and others are on bail in relation to the raid.
Three men have been charged with drugs offences following a police raid at a Rastafarian temple in south London.
Police believed the temple, a 32-room property in St Agnes Place, Kennington, was being used as a drugs "market".
Up to 100 armed officers raided the property early on Thursday and arrested 23 people. The site is the headquarters of the UK's Rastafarian community.
Jahlaw Salassie, Roderick Green and Fitzroy Pommel will appear before Camberwell Green magistrates.
Mr Pommel is also charged with two counts of possession of bullets.
Mr Salassie, 40, Mr Green, 45, and Mr Pommel, 48, have been charged with conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.
Four of the 23 arrested have been cautioned for possession of cannabis, one of whom is still being detained for immigration matters.
Three others are also remanded in custody over immigration issues.
The rest have been bailed pending further inquiries.
Several kilograms of cannabis, some crack cocaine and ammunition were found inside, said police.
The management committee said the centre was no longer used as a temple but the chaplain disputed the claim.
Police said 24-hour surveillance of the centre over the past six months had revealed it was being used as a drugs "market".
Up to 600 people a day visited the centre, mostly buying drugs, according to police.
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