East London was quiet at 5.30am bar the rumbling of buses carrying weary commuters to work and the sounds of birds tweeting in the morning sun.
That was until a convoy of police vehicles broke through the calm and sped onto a residential street.
Police had mobilized to the London flat – the exact location can not be revealed due to ongoing investigations – to snare two suspected drug criminals.
Specially trained officers were armed with ‘the enforcer’ – an iconic red battering ram used to break down doors.
The sleeping pair were unaware of the military-style operation underway to surround their home.
Officers climbed one set of stairs while others remained below, hugging the perimeter line around the property.
The enforcer was then used to bash through the wooden door.
Screams and shouts could be heard within as the two men – both in their twenties – were detained as their shocked family watched on.
The men were then bundled into an awaiting police van.
Several mobile phones and £ 4,500 in cash was seized following the dawn raid.
This morning’s police action forms part of a new operation to tackle Class-A drug crime in London, expanding on previous work to clamp down on County Lines operations.
The practice sees illegal drugs transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries.
Gang leaders typically coerce vulnerable people into getting involved.
The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs.
Kit Malthouse, minister of policing, had joined this morning’s dawn raid and watched as the two suspects were escorted from the property.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘The County Lines operation promotes violence, brings degradation, exploits young people and brutalizes them into a horrible trade.
‘We want to release communities from the grips of these people.’
Police action alone will not solve the issue, he added, with rehabilitation key to ‘moving them away from drugs all together.’
With two scandals underway in the UK Government – the handling of the living cost crisis and the ongoing row over partygate – Mr Malthouse claimed neither could be linked to a crackdown on crime.
He said justice had been done with Prince Minister Boris Johnson paying his fine and said he had ‘apologized and acknowledged’ for the incident.
In terms of the living cost crisis, Mr Malthouse denied that it would lead to more people turning to crime.
He added the job market is extremely good ‘right now with’ plenty other vacancies’ other than crime.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I do not actually think necessarily that is going to have an impact, we’ve seen a rise in drug use over the last few years, largely because the drug industry has become smarter.
‘We need to look at this as a business, it’s not just about arresting dealers it’s making sure they do not come back’.
This morning’s dawn raid formed part of Operation Yamata.
The project is funded by the Home Office with the aim of reducing serious drug supply and associated violence which creates misery for London’s communities.
Deputy assistant commissioner of the Met, Graham McNulty, explained that breadcrumbs left from mobile phone data often leads to clues for the police.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘For the last two and a half years we’ve been dealing with County Lies outside of London and have been very successful, over 1,000 arrests.
‘We can use the same methodology as we did across the country, up to Scotland down to Cornwall and into Wales here.’
DC McNulty added communities have been left ‘fed up’ with drug gangs.
He said: ‘We also get a lot of community intelligence. People in local areas help us.
‘I think a lot of communities are fed up about being offered, fed up they perhaps can not go to the park and use the park because there might be drug dealers.
‘In one month, we’ve identified 100 drug lines in London. And we will not stop. ‘
Mr Malthouse added: ‘If you are dealing drugs to make money, it’s a bad idea.
‘One of these days the Met Police are going to come through your doors, like we’ve seen with these two guys this morning. We are on your case, we understand what you are doing and will get you sooner or later
‘The job market is extremely good right now, there are plenty of other vacancies and plenty of other things you could be doing that would be far better than a life behind bars.’
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