ARMED police stormed the home of suspects wanted over drugs and thefts from rural areas.

Teams of officers raided the property targeting alleged gang members believed to be involved in crimes in Sussex.

The operation led by the Metropolitan Police involved hundreds of officers, and involved specialist firearms officers, the Territorial Support Group, dog units and specialist search officers.

Raids were linked to crimes committed in the Rother district of East Sussex.

Seven arrests were made for alleged crimes including possessing drugs with intent to supply, burglary, and handling stolen goods.

Sussex Police’s own prevention officers have also spent months helping piece together evidence so the search warrants could be issued.

An address in Star Lane, Orpington was done in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and police continue to search the premises.

The warrants were issued under the Firearms Act and Police and Criminal Evidence Act over fears about guns and stolen goods.

Inspector Jonathan Hartley of the Rother prevention team, said: “This was a significant operation following many months of hard work by the Met Police and our officers here in Sussex.

“Searches have already identified a number of items reported as stolen from Rother, and we will continue liaising with the Met to investigate all of the findings from the operation.

“This shows we will always target those we suspect of committing crimes in our district, wherever they reside, and will work with other forces to address any cross-border criminality and find those responsible for it.

“I’m very grateful to the Met for their support in tackling cross-border crime.”

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