MAYOR Boris Johnson joined police in dawn raids yesterday when Scotland Yard launched a major operation against rising burglary and robbery rates. A suspect at one house in Tottenham, where police smashed open the door to gain entry, greeted the Tory Mayor with: “What are you doing here?”
The raids targeted suspected “crack houses” because of the belief among the police that the drug trade is fuelling crime.
By midday, 150 raids had been carried out across the capital, resulting in 32 arrests for possession of firearms, burglary, supply of drugs, public order and theft. Four firearms were recovered.
Detectives and covert policing resources will be assigned to the Met’s local policing units for a sustained operation.
Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson, head of territorial policing, said: “Operation Target is to be the largest and sustained crackdown against crimes such as robbery, burglary and violence ever conducted by the Metropolitan Police.
“While robbery and burglary are still relatively low in comparison to previous years, we are determined to cut these offences further.”
Mr Johnson blamed the drugs trade for fuelling increases in burglary and robbery rates as he pointed to an overall 0.5 per cent fall in recorded crime in Britain’s capital.
Mr Johnson added: “It’s the drugs trade that fuels the robberies that degrade the quality of life for people in London.
“If we can clamp down on drugs, we can win the fight against robbery.”
After a second raid was carried out in nearby William Street, Mr Johnson sparked laughter among officers by picking up an “enforcer” — the heavy tool police use to break through doors.
The Mayor followed officers in to the properties but did not wear protective clothing.