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Dawn raids: £80,000 in crack seized

PUBLISHED: 15:51 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 24 August 2010

A vast seizure of crack cocaine kicked started a series of dawn raids across the borough this morning, writes Lorraine King. Around 430 officers from Brent Police and the Territorial Support Group stormed 15 addresses across Brent as part of Operation Sot

A vast seizure of crack cocaine kicked started a series of dawn raids across the borough this morning, writes Lorraine King.

Around 430 officers from Brent Police and the Territorial Support Group stormed 15 addresses across Brent as part of Operation Soto which targeted class A drug dealers.

A total of nine arrests were made and £17,000 in cash was uncovered at two addresses in the borough.

One man, who is believed to be a Jamaican national, was arrested for drug possession at his home in Eton Grove, Kingsbury.

The raids are a culmination of an 18-month undercover operation which included officers posing as drug dealers to seize 1.1kilo of crack cocaine last night.

The drugs, which have a street value of £80,000, are believed to be one of the largest seizures in the UK.

During their probe, detectives identified a number of suspects living outside of the borough so several addresses in Haringey, Bromley, Harrow, Barnet and Southwark were also raided.

Chief Superintendent Mark Toland, Brent Police borough commander told the Times the arrest should reassure residents that they are clamping down on criminality in the borough.

He said: "This action has shown people what we can do.

"People need to know that if they come to us with information we will act on it.

"This isn't targeting the community or a particular estate it is targeting individuals."

Operation Soto is the borough's biggest clampdown on criminality since 2006 when drug dealers were targeted in South Kilburn.

Superintendent Simon Corkhill, head of community policing, said such operations have a great impact on the community.

He added: "Drug dealers encourage poor relations with the police so if we take out and arrest key players the police can engage with the community.

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