Police raid south London ‘county lines drug gang’ after 200-officer strong investigation

Katherine Johnston (17 November, 2018) Crime

'This morning's operation is the culmination of weeks of planning by my officers'

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Fifteen people believed to be from a violent  ‘county lines’ drugs gang operating across south London were arrested after dawn raids in Tulse Hill this week.

Two hundred police officers were drafted into the weeks-long  investigation, leading to ten addresses being searched in Tulse Hill, Streatham Hill, Clapham, Brixton and Catford on Thursday morning (November 15).

Those arrested were aged eighteen to 26 and held on suspicion of a range of offences including supplying Class A drugs.

Police believe they are part of a ‘county lines’ gang running drugs from London to Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire and responsible for violence across south London.

So far officers have found ‘a large quantity’ of suspected Class A and Class B drugs, around £10,000 in cash, and suspected stolen goods.

Southwark and Lambeth’s Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger, Commander of the Central South Command Unit, said: “The violence we have seen in south London recently has causes devastation to families, friends and communities.

“Tackling violence is our main priority, and one which will remain at the forefront of all the work we carry out.

“This morning’s activity targeted those who are suspected to be involved in gang activity, drug dealing, and violence across the south of London.

“We will continue to carry out operations targeting those intent on committing acts of violence across the city, utilising our local resources but also working closely with units across the Met including the Violent Crime Taskforce and Trident.

“We will also continue our prevention work to keep our communities safe.

“Across the Met this year, officers have conducted more than 20,000 weapons sweeps and seized hundreds of lethal weapons.

“The support of our communities is vital in combating violent crime.

“Anyone who has any information which could help our investigations into the senseless acts of violence we’ve witnessed in recent weeks should contact police as soon as possible.

“Please approach any officer you see patrolling the streets or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Search warrants took place at New Park Road and Vibart Gardens, Challice Way, Mansey Mews and Tilson Gardens in SW2, Sangley Road in SE6, Valley Road in SW16, Stockwell Gardens Estate in SW9, and Clarence Avenue in SW4.

Detective Inspector Anthony Jones from the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command said: “This morning’s operation is the culmination of weeks of planning by my officers.

“We have worked tirelessly to identify those believed to be involved in gang activity, drug supply and violence across the south of London and I am pleased with the results of this activity.

“Searches will be ongoing at addresses and across the Tilson estate throughout the morning.

“The seizures we have made already will further support our case against these individuals we believe to be involved in a range of criminal activity.

“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues on borough and in other specialist units across the Met to identify and apprehend those intent on, or considering, committing acts of violence.”

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