Police in Waltham Forest have shut down the phone numbers of five prominent drug dealers using powers from the Digital Economy Act.

Eleven handsets were permanently disconnected at midday on Friday, October 5 after officers obtained court orders, cutting the link between dealers and their customers.

The numbers have also been banned from all UK phone networks after police used Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Orders (DDTROs).

It comes after one woman and 13 men were charged with drug offences after 20 properties in east London and Essex, including in Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Chingford, were raided on Wednesday, October 3.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker said: “Some violence in London has clear links to gangs and drug dealing, which is often controlled via mobile phones.

“These drug lines have become very valuable and groups are prepared to use extreme violence to obtain them.

“Police will use every tactic available to disrupt these criminal groups and reduce the risk of harm to the public.”