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40 held in pre-carnival dawn swoops

Scotland Yard has staged a series of dawn swoops during pre-emptive strikes to avoid Notting Hill Carnival becoming a victim of England's rioting crisis.

A total of 40 suspects have been arrested in raids across the capital during preparations for the force's biggest policing presence at the event.

The Metropolitan Police launched a "robust" carnival strategy as intelligence suggested gangs are planning trouble.

Under Operation Razorback, a team of armoured officers descended on one leafy terraced street in west London to arrest an 18-year-old suspected drug dealer as officers executed five warrants.

A screaming woman tried to stop armoured officers entering her home on Stoneleigh Street to arrest the teenager. "He's not here - you don't have to break the door down," she shouted as she leaned out of the window as officers smashed their way into the home.

The suspect was arrested and taken away for questioning as officers seized a substance, believed to be crack cocaine.

The number of pre-event arrests is down on last year but Scotland Yard Commander Steve Rodhouse says he is "really confident" he has the resources at his disposal to protect the event on Sunday and Monday.

A total of 5,500 officers will be on patrol in the carnival area on Sunday while 6,500 will take to the streets on Monday. In addition there will be more than 4,000 additional officers elsewhere in London "as well as the thousands who are normally on duty", said Mr Rodhouse.

He said the "degree of chatter" surrounding trouble makers was consistent with previous years - despite thousands of arrests in the wake of the wave of looting and violence that gripped England a fortnight ago.

"We realise that carnival will be taking place this year in unusual and exceptional circumstances," he said. "In the light of what's happened over London over those three nights, it's only right that we've thoroughly reviewed our operation for the Notting Hill Carnival."


From Belfast Telegraph