250 police storm homes in South Kilburn drugs raid

Crack, heroin and more than �8,000 was uncovered in the dawn raids

Fourteen people have been arrested after police swooped on the South Kilburn estate this morning in a series of dawn raids targeted at taking out suspected key drug dealers.

Around 250 officers stormed 12 addresses, uncovering large quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

A shoebox stuffed with cash worth �7,000 was also uncovered.

Chief Superintendent Matt Gardner, Brent police borough commander, said the raids were launched to dismantle a group drug dealers whose dealing and anti social behaviour were intimidating the community.

He said: “We have had some fantastic results this morning. Our community has told us about drug dealers in the area. We are responding and that is why we carried out this operation this morning.

“Drug dealing is a driver for all types of crime – burglary, theft, robbery and anti social behaviour. If you hit drugs you are going to hit a number of other areas too.

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“Imagine if you live on that estate. You can’t leave your kids to play outside for fear of approaches. That is what we are addressing.”

The synchronised 5am raids were launched in response to tip offs about widespread drug dealing in the estate. The operation was the culmination of five months of surveillance work by officers.

In one raid in Fielding House, South Kilburn, around ten officers battered down a door, shouting ‘Freeze, police’.

As they rushed inside they arrested one man who was about to light up a crack pipe. He was found next to a stash of crack rocks believed to be worth around �500.

The raids come four years after the famous Operation Saunton on the South Kilburn estate – which smashed a drug and gun running gang. Those arrested were collectively sentenced to 520 years in prison.

In a warning to would-be dealers hoping to move in to the estate, the borough commander added: “The challenge is policing the void, as when people move out other people will come in. We have got plans in place to stop that.

“Brent police will expend every ounce of our energy into hunting down, arresting and convicting drug dealers. Drug dealers ruin people’s lives.

“This proactivity is about the police turning the tables and ruining drug dealers’ lives. That’s what our community want us to do, that’s what’s right to do, and that is what we will continue to do.”

Safer Neighbourhood Team officers will today leaflet the estate and surrounding homes to tell the community about the raids to bolster support for the operation.