Gangs from London boroughs are increasingly "spreading their wings" to seek markets for drugs in other parts of the country, a Metropolitan Police officer has warned.
The warning came a day after co-ordinated raids in the Thames Valley, Edinburgh, Essex, Bedfordshire and London in which 29 people were arrested in an operation targeting the south London-based GAS gang.
But the senior officer who speaks on gangs for the Association of Chief Police Officers said "significant headway" was being made in dealing with gang-related crime, with a decrease in gun and knife crime.
Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson of West Midlands Police told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that gangs had always relocated in search of opportunities to make money or in response to pressure from police on their home turf.
- Nine of the London raids took place in Lambeth, one in Southwark, one in Hackney and another in Brent
- The operation targeted what are believed to be "the most senior ranking high harm members" of the gang
- So far they have found 300 rocks of crack cocaine, a large amount of heroin and £5,000 in cash
A total of 29 arrests were made in 24 hours. The raids were the latest phase of a police crackdown on the so-called GAS gang - which is based in Lambeth - that has seen a total of 88 arrests.
It's a London-based gang but they're extending their drugs network and finding new markets to ensure they get more money.
They've got their tentacles into Home Counties and further afield because they want to expand the amount of profit they can get.
The reason we target them is that we still get the associated violence in London when they return.
A notorious gang has been targeted in a series of early morning raids across the UK. Classed as one of the most high harm criminal networks in London, the Guns and Shanks group is involved in drug dealing and serious violence including attempted murder.
Police carried out a series of early morning raids today, including 12 warrants in London and another 11 elsewhere - including two in the Thames Valley, one in Essex, one in Bedfordshire and two in Scotland.
The family of a 78 year old with dementia are appealing to the public for the help in tracing him. James Fuller left his home shortly after midnight last night.
He does not have his medication and was last seen wearing navy blue pyjamas, black slip-on shoes, a brown knee length coat and a grey tweet flat cap and glasses. He is described as black, five feet ten inches tall and frail.
There was an early wake-up call for suspected gang members in south London today. At 5am, police stormed 21 different addresses.Read the full story ›
This was a shocking attack on a young woman, prompted by nothing more than a brief exchange of words.
It is vital we track down this man and hold him to account for his behaviour.
I am also keen to speak with other members of the group, who would be able to assist the investigation.
Police say anyone with information should call DC Mulley on 020 8649 2196. Alternatively you can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police have released CCTV footage of the moment a woman was knocked unconscious after a violent attack on a bus in Lambeth. The 22-year-old was heading towards Clapham Junction when a man got on, and headed towards the back of the bus where the victim was sitting.
A can of drink was poured over the woman who was then kicked in the stomach before falling unconscious.
A warning that this video contains graphic images:
Police are trying to find a man seen on CCTV around the time of the attack om Thursday 29 August, at around 1:15am.
Police are appealing for information after a young woman was knocked unconscious during a violent attack on a Route 344 bus.
The 22-year old was assaulted as the bus headed towards Clapham Junction in the early hours of Thursday, 29th August.
The main suspect is described as a light-skinned black man of slim build. He's approximately 20 years old and was wearing a black T-shirt with a patterned pocket on the chest, dark trousers and a baseball cap worn back to front.
Detectives also want to speak to four other men he was travelling with. After the assault, the group of men got off the bus and headed in the direction of Lambeth Walk, SE1.
The victim was taken hospital with a head injury and was treated and released later that day.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call DC Mulley on 020 8649 2196. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police will formally interview three women allegedly held as slaves for the first time today.
The trio have had indirect contact with officers but police have had to wait until trauma experts gave them the go-ahead to take their accounts in person.
Commander Steve Rodhouse said: "We have not yet been able to formally interview the victims in this case so we don't fully understand the nature of the allegations. We are moving to a point where we will be able to interview the victims and our plan is actually to do so today.
"The victims are in the care of specialists who have got great experience of dealing with people who have been subject to trauma.
"We're working to that advice of those experts as to how best to handle those victims, to support them and of course to draw out the evidence we would need to substantiate any prosecution."