1,000 police involved in London drugs raids


More than 1,000 police officers were involved in a drugs crackdown across the capital today.

The launch of Operation Hawk involved teams in each London borough, with raids carried out on suspected crack dens and cannabis farms.

It is being led by neighbourhood policing teams with support from specialist units that deal with firearms and drugs.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said earlier this year that neighbourhood policing teams would have to become more involved in operations like this, as the force faces budget cuts of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Area commander for north London Mak Chishty said: "We're targeting drugs in local communities and that means where they are sold, produced, consumed and peddled, either within groups, within open spaces, on the street or in houses.

"Drugs misuse leads on to other sorts of harmful activities such as violence, crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour.

"It can also lead certain areas to become no-go zones because they are more intimidating."

He said there will be "daily activity" as part of Operation Hawk after today.

Scotland Yard said Home Office statistics suggest a third to a half of thefts and robberies are drug-related.