Armed police swoop on traveller site in dramatic middle of night gun crime raid

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Elite armed police raided a traveller site in the early hours of this morning in a huge gun crime sting.

Anti-terrorism officers joined to storm the site at 3am in Orpington, south-east London.

It came amid a surge in gun crime in London, Sky News reports.

Fatal incidents involving firearms have doubled in the weeks since lockdown was relaxed and it is thought police organised the raid after learning that people connected with the site were involved in supplying guns to criminal gangs.

Images from the dramatic scene show officers marching through the camp and surrounding mobile homes before the raid began.

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Seven people have so far been arrested for offences including possession with intent to supply drugs, handling stolen goods and burglary.

Two individuals found at the site are being supported by the Metropolitan Police's Modern Slavery Team and 17 dogs have been seized.

Detailed searches of the camp continue after the operation, code-named Operation Medusa, was conducted.

Commander Kyle Gordon, the lead for the Metropolitan Police's firearms operation, said: "Any operation where there may be firearms involved requires a lot of planning and a lot of specialist assets.

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"As well as the local safer neighbourhood teams and officers that are leading this operation, of course we have our specialist firearms command involved, and a number of public order assets as well.

"Those teams will do everything they can to identify the risk in advance so they can plan around that to minimise the risk – not just to the people on the site and the wider public, but also to themselves as well."

Flash-bangs were used to disorient travellers at the site before police battered down the doors of static caravans.

Aerial shots from a police helicopter and drone involved in surveillance screened show police moving across the site and standing beside caravans.

Earlier this year, Britain's biggest-ever crime bust captured 746 top-level criminals.

Around £54million in dirty money, two tonnes of drugs and 77 firearms were seized after officers from the National Crime Agency were able to get inside secure phone system EncroChat, a network supposedly used by criminals allowing them to send encrypted messages.

  • London
  • Crime

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