London

Largest ever Met raids target burglars and drug offenders

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Media captionDozens of people were arrested following the raids on Wednesday morning

More than 1,000 officers have taken part in the Metropolitan Police's largest ever number of co-ordinated raids in London.

At least 66 people have been arrested in east and north London in an operation targeting burglary and drug offenders.

The Met said more than 75 addresses were raided in the early hours.

In a statement the force said a haul of electrical items including phones and laptops had also been seized.

All of those arrested are at various police stations pending further inquiries, said police.

Officers worked with Tower Hamlets Council and specialist police teams in what they called the Met's largest ever "pre-planned single arrest operation".

Addresses were also raided in Haringey, Hackney and Brighton.

Ahead of the earlier operation, belongings worth about £100,000 were recovered and "hundreds" returned to their owners.

Det Chief Insp Des McHugh, who led the raids, said the arrests were part of an operation designed to combat criminal networks.

Tower Hamlets Borough Commander, Chief Supt Dave Stringer, said: "Every break-in and every street snatch shatters lives whilst drug dealing can have a devastating impact on communities."

Nicholas Mitchison, 85, was targeted last year as he and his wife, Lorna, slept in their Islington home.

The retired professor had a paper on human genetics for London's University College Hospital on the computer which was stolen.

He said: "They appeared to know exactly which items to take and quite deliberately targeted the computer.

"We really didn't expect to see it again so were most surprised when we were contacted by the police to say they had recovered items belonging to us."

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