St Albans violent crime: chief inspector says district safer after gang jailed

Ch Insp Mike Todd has welcomed the results of Operation Luge.

Ch Insp Mike Todd has welcomed the results of Operation Luge. - Credit: Herts police

The district is a safer place now a violent gang of teenage drug dealers is behind bars, says St Albans' top cop.

Ch Insp Mike Todd was reacting to the success of Operation Luge, a massive police initiative in response to a spate of knifepoint offences in St Albans and London Colney over a 10 month period.

Eighteen-year-olds Isaac Wallace-Greaves and Kai Henry-Smith, Kobi Nelson, 19, and Harley Kavanagh, 17, wielded swords and machetes in their attacks on rival dealers. They have been jailed for a total of 42 years for conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit GBH.

Ch Insp Todd said: “It was a very complex conspiracy investigation, with increased challenge due to a lack of support from witnesses and victims.

"Without the tenacity of the officers involved, especially Det Sgt Tom Evans and Det Con Jody Perrin, as well as a team of officers, these dangerous young men could have escaped justice.

“The St Albans district is a safer place now that they are all behind bars.

“I hope this is a stark warning to anyone who thinks they can use violence and threats that we can, and we will, do everything in our power – with or without victim and witness support – to tackle violent crime and gang culture.”

Most Read

One attack, in York Road, St Albans, resulted in a man being slashed in his hands and arms.

A witness said: “Shouting was coming from the street. I couldn’t work out what was being said but it sounded frantic.

“The incident was chaotic with the group running around and yelling - it was like they didn’t have any idea what they were meant to be doing, like they didn’t have a plan.”

“A male who was sitting in the passenger seat was holding a knife but it was the size of a machete."

And a witness to an attack at Sainsbury’s in Colney Fields said: “I could see a man on the ground and he had lots of injuries to his face and had blood over him. He seemed to be unconscious.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter