Stormzy questions motives of police linking drug raids to Notting Hill Carnival
Premises in Lewisham, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Wandsworth were raided.
Grime artist Stormzy has hit out at the Metropolitan Police for linking drugs busts to Notting Hill Carnival.
Other Twitter users have also asked what the seizure of what was believed to be a kilogram of uncut heroin in Catford, south east London, had to do with this weekend’s carnival on the other side of the capital in west London.
The force has been tweeting after carrying out a series of dawn raids on Tuesday, in Lewisham as well as in Kensington and Chelsea, the borough where the world-famous event takes place.
But its tweet about the heroin seizure in Catford led Stormzy to reply: “How many drugs did you lot seize in the run up to Glastonbury or we only doing tweets like this for black events?”
Many Twitter users were quick to back the musician, with @RxDWHxTEBLxCK writing: “Seizing knives or having a knife amnesty would be way better. This is just choosing a hated drug and blaming carnival.”
Another, @MrMeeds, tweeted: “Lol what does the drug seize in Catford have to do with Notting Hill Carnival? Or is this the standard propaganda you’re perpetuating?”
But others questioned why the rapper had to bring race into the issue, and pointed out that any local drugs seizures ahead of Glastonbury would be carried out by Avon and Somerset Police, rather than the Met.
Officers arrested more than 30 people early on Tuesday morning in a planned, intelligence-led operation.
Since Friday August 11, officers have also made more than 290 arrests for a range of offences, recovering 190 knives and 18 firearms.
Police said the crackdown was targeting and disrupting gang crime, drug supply, knife crime and other offences that could impact on the safety of the weekend carnival.
More than 100 officers from the Met, City of London Police and the British Transport Police have been involved.
Tuesday’s arrests were predominantly for possession with intent to supply drugs. If some of those arrested are then bailed, they will be forbidden from attending the carnival, Scotland Yard said.
Officers known as “super recognisers” will be in the area and monitoring CCTV to help spot those banned from the parade.
In one of the raided properties, a terraced house in south-east London, three men and two women were arrested, while a young child was taken by police to stay with her grandmother.
Inside, uncut crack cocaine with an estimated street value of £60,000 was discovered, along with multiple bags of powder thought to be heroin.
Chief Superintendent Robyn Williams, the Met’s spokesman for Notting Hill Carnival, said: “Our officers have been proactive and focused on tackling serious violence and knife crime across London.
“Today’s operation is aimed at ensuring that those who intend to cause trouble at Carnival are prohibited from doing so. We are committed to ensuring that Carnival remains a safe, vibrant and enjoyable event; troublemakers are not welcome.
“We will be uncompromising in our operations to keep our communities safe and secure. People can expect to see operational activity right up until and throughout the bank holiday weekend.”