1. ITV Report

Police discover 35 cannabis factories after drugs raids

A cannabis factory discovered in East Dulwich. Photo: ITN

Over 2,500 police officers took part in an anti-drugs operation across London that has resulted in 351 arrests, after 457 warrants were executed.

During a series of raids as part of Operation Hawk, officers closed 35 cannabis factories and seized 2,746 plants. The Metropolitan Police say over £2.6million worth of cannabis was seized. The officers also found half a kilo of heroin at an address in Tottenham and 19 rocks of crack in Brent.

Three handguns were recovered at an address in Chingford and £100,000 of cash a large amount of class A drugs were found during a search in Barnet.

In Bexley Ketamine, Cannabis and a gun were seized.

There was also an arrest for conspiracy to import 200 kilos of cocaine.

In Dagenham 169 packets of illegal non-prescribed medicines were seized.

Drug dealing damages communities. It generates crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

– Commander Mak Chishty, Met Police

Operation Hawk is targeting low-level drug dealers who operate at street level - Home Office figures say that up to half of acquisitive crimes, such as burglaries and muggings, are carried out to pay for drugs.

The officer in charge of Operation Hawk, Commander Mak Chishty, has urged the local communities to help: "We need to encourage communities to talk to us and report concerns, and we will reward this trust by delivering swift results and telling people what action we have taken. Community intelligence passed to us will be dealt with as quickly as possible and carefully assessed before any action taken.

"With your help we can make your local neighbourhood safer. You make the call, we'll make it stop."

Our reporter Toby Sadler joined officers who raided a cannabis factory in Dulwich as part of Operation Hawk.