A series of early morning raids targeting suspected drug dealers across Walthamstow this morning led to 24 arrests.

Over 300 officers executed warrants across 27 addresses in the St James’s Street area of Walthamstow at 5am today (Wednesday, March 4).

Detectives seized suspected class A and B drugs, large amounts of cash and several zombie style knives.

The arrested suspects, males aged between 16 and 32 years old, have been taken into custody.

The early morning operations followed a five-month investigation – in partnership with Waltham Forest Council – as part of a proactive operation to tackle the drivers of violent crime and act on community concerns.

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Warrant teams gather at a forward rendezvous point before moving on the target addresses.

Richard Tucker, North East BCU commander, said: “The Met continuously works to disrupt and dismantle the toxic gangs supplying drugs to the capital. Our absolute priority is tackling violence and I am committed to making Waltham Forest Borough a hostile environment for criminality.

“We know that the supply of drugs fuels violence, not just in Waltham Forest, but in all areas throughout London. By cutting off the supply of drugs and seizing intelligence on their networks, we can continue to stem the supply and clamp down on violence."

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Richard Tucker says tackling violence in the borough is a priority for the Met.

Over the last year, Waltham Forest Council has been working with police to tackle anti-social behaviour, drugs, and violent crime, under its Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) scheme.

Waltham Forest cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Ahsan Khan, added: “Waltham Forest’s VRP delivers a public health approach to violence, by working alongside the criminal justice systems which respond to crime.

“The VRP recognises that many young people caught up in the drugs trade are groomed by adult criminal networks, and works shoulder-to-shoulder with communities, the Metropolitan Police, health and education services to ensure vulnerable young people provided with the right support at the right time to escape criminal exploitation and recover from the trauma they have experienced.”

The council will supply high-visibility community safety patrols in the neighbourhoods affected by this morning’s operation.

If you have information about someone you suspect to be carrying a weapon or involved in criminal activity and you do not want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. It is one hundred per cent anonymous - they never ask your name and cannot trace your call or the device you use.

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