Suspected gang members held after police carry out dawn raids in South Kilburn and Queen’s Park

Officers storm 17 homes simultaneously in Brent and Westminster

Suspected gang members have been arrested this morning (Wednesday) after police carried out a series of dawn raids in Brent and Westminster.

Five youths aged between 16 to 24 were held after officers stormed addresses in Brent as part of Operation Tranquilo targeting members of the South Kilburn Bandits.

A further three youths in Queen’s Park and Lisson Green were arrested during raids in Westminster by officers targeting suspected members of Mozart SMG and Lisson Green Men.

A total of 17 addresses were simultaneously raided at 6am.

Three out of the five held from Brent were arrested at an address in Gloucester House in South Kilburn, where officers uncovered a cannabis factory.

The raid, which was carried out by 120 officers from Brent and Westminster Police, Trident Gang Crime Command and the Territorial Support Group, also uncovered other items including crack cocaine and an air pistol.

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A 16-year-old prolific street robber and house burglar, who is on bail for four offences, was arrested an address in Verdi Crescent, Queen’s Park.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Champion, from the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “By successfully removing the negative role models and their gang associates within the local community we are hoping to prevent young people from joining gangs in the first place.

“There is nothing cool about being in prison it is not a positive experience. There is nothing trendy about having a criminal record. It only makes it harder to get a job or into further education.

“There is nothing untouchable about being involved in violence and crime. It can lead to getting arrested, sent to prison, seriously injured or even killed.

“We cannot of course tackle gang violence alone. We are working with partners and agencies to offer ways out of gangs and divert young people away from what can become a very destructive path.”

Safer Neighbourhoods patrols have been stepped up around the addresses and weapons sweeps continued in communal areas following the raids.

Detective Superintendent Steve Kershaw, from Brent Police, said: ‘We will help those who want to step out of gang activity.

“We will help those who seek protection from gangs. We will hold to account those who choose to use our streets as the stage to carry out their criminal conduct - we are commitment to making London a safer place to live and visit.”