Dozens of homes and businesses raided as police targeting criminals 'dealing drugs and guns to gangs' make 25 arrests

Ben Morgan, Anthony France

A charity shop and a hipster juice bar were among dozens of addresses raided by police early today in a major operation targeting criminals suspected of supplying guns and drugs to street gangs.

Around 500 officers arrested more than 30 suspected dealers and searched 40 homes and businesses across south London.

Operation Quintana followed an 18-month intelligence operation investigation gathering evidence against gangs selling crystal meth, crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis in Croydon, Norwood and Wandsworth.

Superintendent Comin Carswell said: “These commercial premises are believed to be concerned in the supply of drugs and stolen goods.”

Officers recovered more than £50,000 in cash, a “large amount” of Class A and B drugs and twelve firearms, including a Taser stun gun.

Firearm seized in south London (Met Police)

They forced their way inside The Charity Shop in Norwood High Street at 7.30am, investigating claims drugs and cash had been stashed inside.

The shop sells used furniture as well as old televisions and a wedding dress was on display in the front window.

The Ju-Ice & Shakes juice bar in Portland Road was also searched. A woman was arrested at her home address on suspicion of dealing drugs.

Firearm seized in south London (Met Police)

Officers also swooped on a builders merchants and a car-parts shop suspected of selling stolen goods.

One man was arrested as he tried to leave the builders yard seconds before police arrived to breach the door.

A taser was recovered from a property in south London (Met Police)

Superintendent Comin Carswell said: “What we had this morning was the culmination of a long and in depth into criminality in Croydon.

“This involved criminal gangs dealing drugs, supplying firearms and being involved in gang violence.

“We have executed 40 warrants not just in Croydon but across South West London.”

He said more officers would be drafted into the area to deter other gangs from moving into the territory and protect businesses.