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Nine held over Hatton Garden heist

Nine men have now been arrested in connection with the Hatton Garden jewellery raid which saw 72 safety deposit boxes looted.

Scotland Yard said a further two men - aged 58 and 43 - were detained today following an earlier announcement that seven men had been held on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.

The force revealed it had recovered a "significant amount of high value property" after raiding 12 addresses across London and Kent.

Detectives from the Flying Squad also apologised after confirming that alarm response procedures had not been followed, but rejected the suggestion they were bungling "Keystone Cops".

The nine men arrested so far are aged between 48 and 76 and are all in custody on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.

The Met has faced criticism after it emerged that a call from a security firm about an intruder alert at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company shortly after midnight on Good Friday was deemed not to require a response.

Referring to this, Commander Peter Spindler, said: "On this occasion the systems and processes that we have in place with the alarm companies weren't followed and as a result of that officers did not attend the premises when in fact they probably should have done and for that I want to apologise."

Defending the Met's response, he added that the force took these types of crime very seriously, saying: "At times we've been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops but I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice to the victims of this callous crime.

"They've worked tirelessly and relentlessly, they've put their lives on hold over the last six or seven weeks to make sure that justice is served. They've exemplified the finest attributes of Scotland Yard detectives."

A gang of thieves broke into the vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company over the Easter weekend in London's jewellery quarter.

Scotland Yard said that a security guard attended the scene but "saw nothing more than our officers would have done had they been deployed".

A more detailed investigation into the defeat of the alarm system is continuing and Scotland Yard will share any lessons learnt.

Detectives said they were confident the items recovered during the searches had been stolen in the burglary.

Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, Head of the Flying Squad, urged victims of the crime to "stay patient", adding: "Police officers will be in contact with them in order that we can restore this property back to its rightful owners."

All nine suspects - described as white British males - were taken into custody while officers continue to search properties.

More than 200 officers raided addresses this morning, and four suspects - aged 67, 74, 58, and 48 were arrested in Enfield.

A 59-year-old man was detained in east London, while a man aged 76 was held in Dartford, with a 50-year-old.

The eighth and ninth arrests were made in north London.

The Met is also appealing to the public for information about a white Transit van that was seen in the area around the time of the raid.

Speaking on a Periscope broadcast, Mr Turner said: "Today I am making an appeal for information around a van that was seen in the area of Hatton Garden over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

"It was a white Transit van, index number DU53 VNG, which was caught on CCTV in and around Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd."

He added that police had been in possession of the footage for "quite a period of time", but it had not been released for operational reasons.

The van has not been recovered, and the public is being asked if they know where it is, or if they saw it in the area on April 2.

Anyone with information can call the inquiries team in 020 8785 8655, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


From Belfast Telegraph