The suspects, aged between 17 and 27, were identified following almost 18 months of investigation by the Met’s North West Basic Command Unit.
Police also seized class A and B drugs, cash, drug distribution equipment and multiple mobile phones believed to have been used to organise illegal transactions from the addresses in Brent.
Eleven men and one woman were arrested for a number of different violence and drug related offences, including being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
The arrests form part of an investigation launched in 2019 initially designed to address local youth violence issues in northwest London.
Detectives quickly uncovered the significant drivers behind the violence and acquisitive crime in the area – specifically the supply of Class A and B drugs.
After gathering intelligence to identify the most dangerous individuals involved in the violence, police designed a bespoke, multi-faceted operation intended to dismantle this network of criminals at its highest ranks.
Sixteen addresses were targeted as part of the warrants overnight. They took place at addresses across Brent, Luton and Greenwich.
Detective Superintendent Ray Keating said “We know that drug supply in London is by and large linked to violence that we see on the streets. Drug dealers can disagree over supply and territory, and the fallout from these disagreements often leaves many people hurt and sometimes killed. Those people are often the vulnerable young people working on the ‘front lines’.
“The criminal business model that these people have been running is very much a pyramid scheme – people at the bottom invest all of their time and energy whilst those at the top of the chain simply revel in their illegal earnings.
“The people at the top of this network are unforgiving, unrelenting and willing to put others in harm’s way in the name of their own self-interest.
“By identifying the most prolific offenders and accessing resources from across the Met including specialist investigators, forensics practitioners, the dog section and Territorial Support Group, we have been able to secure information which links the people arrested during this operation to other serious crimes.
“Through this investigation, the Met has also been able to support a number of major operations with other police forces and law enforcement agencies.
“These raids will no doubt send a clear message that the Met does not tolerate criminal enterprise such as this in London and we will undertake large-scale operations, seize all proceeds of crime and bring forward casefiles to the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that those involved face the consequences of their actions.”