More than 40 people have been arrested following morning police raids in a crackdown on organised crime.
Forty men and one woman were arrested at 53 addresses in Lewisham, Bexley, Greenwich and Bromley on suspicion of a range of offences including conspiracy to burgle, supplying class A drugs, conspiracy to supply firearms, handling stolen goods and fraud.
The arrests are the culmination of a two-year police operation targeting criminal gangs in Bexley and the surrounding area.
The gangs are believed to be responsible for more than 300 offences over an 18-month period.
The operation is being carried out by Bexley police and colleagues from the Serious and Organised Crime Command, and is said to be one of the largest-scale operations ever to tackle serious money-related crime in London.
Simon Letchford, South Area Commander for the Met police, said: “More than 700 officers from across the Met are out in force to support this operation today, demonstrating our commitment to tackling organised crime in all our neighbourhoods, wherever it occurs in London.”
“Throughout the investigation we have combined innovative and tenacious policing techniques with good, old fashioned detective work to identify, disrupt and arrest the criminals responsible for bringing misery to local people.”
According to police, the 41 people arrested remain in custody at police stations in central and south London, and searches are continuing at a number of addresses where items such as drugs and computer tablets have been seized.
Before today, 31 people had already been arrested and charged resulting in 29 convictions as part of the Met’s operation.