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Met Police raid at Orpington at traveller site uncovers weapons arsenal, stolen dogs and cash

Stolen dogs, a loaded shotgun and a machete are among the finds police have uncovered followinga huge raid on a traveller camp.

Two people found at the site in Star Lane, Orpington , are being supported by a modern slavery team, while seven others have been arrested on multiple charges.

Weapons found at the site
Weapons found at the site

A number of caravans and quad bikes have been identified as stolen, and about £112,000 in cash has been recovered along with Class A drugs.

Seventeen air weapons, a rifle, BB gun, a musket, tear gas and rounds of homemade ammunition have also been found.

Police are continuing to scour the site - more than 24 hours after the raid in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Six men and one woman have so far been arrested - with ages ranging from 19 to 59 years of age.

Seventeen dogs, of a variety of breeds, have been discovered - a number of which have been confirmed as stolen. Efforts are now being made reunite the dogs with their owners.

A number of stolen dogs need to be reunited with their owners
A number of stolen dogs need to be reunited with their owners

Commander Kyle Gordon, the gold commander for the operation, said: “We have already found a number of weapons and other items of interest following this significant operation, and our searches at the site will continue.

“A firearm seized by police represents a weapon that is not in the hands of someone who might use it to harm others, and commit crime.

“Every officer across the Met – from local neighbourhoods teams all the way up to our specialist crime investigators – is focused on bringing those responsible for violence on the streets of London to justice, to keep our communities safe."

The huge raid - one of Met Police's largest this year - involved highly trained Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officers.

Officers had discovered a series of crimes, which were believed to be carried out by suspects linked to the location, during months of investigating.

Dozens of officers in Star Lane yesterday morning
Dozens of officers in Star Lane yesterday morning

Hundreds of officers swooped on the site at about 2.45am in more than 30 vehicles and carried out multiple search warrants.

Distraction devices were used by the police, which residents reported being awoken by a series of four of five loud bangs - believed to be flashbangs, sirens, and a helicopter flying overhead.

The air weapons recovered will now be tested.

Only air weapons that use, or are designed or adapted for use with a self-contained gas cartridge system are prohibited under the Firearms Act.

Otherwise, they are legal to buy and own but owners of such weapons of a certain power require a firearms certificate to hold them.

Anyone with information should call 101, tweet @MetCC or report it online via the Met website.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Bexley and Bromley

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