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Seven men arrested for massive Hatton Garden jewel robbery

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
The holes drilled by the gang to access the bank vaults
The holes drilled by the gang to access the bank vaults

Seven men have been arrested in connection with the Hatton Garden jewellery raid.

Scotland Yard announced the development today, almost two months after a gang of thieves ransacked 72 safety deposit boxes over the Easter weekend in London's jewellery quarter.

For pictures from the scene of the robbery, click here

The arrests came after 12 addresses were raided this morning.

Police also said "significant amounts of high value property" had been recovered.

The Met has faced criticism over the raid, particularly after it emerged that police did not respond to a burglar alarm at the scene.

Commander Peter Spindler said today: "The Metropolitan Police takes these types of crimes very seriously.

"At times we've been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops but I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice to the victims of this callous crime.

"They've worked tirelessly and relentlessly, they've put their lives on hold over the last six or seven weeks to make sure that justice is served. They've exemplified the finest attributes of Scotland Yard detectives."

This morning detectives from the Flying Squad arrested seven men aged between 48 and 76 for conspiracy to burgle and recovered a large amount of property, Scotland Yard said.

More than 200 officers raided 12 addresses in London and Kent.

Four suspects - aged 67, 74, 58, and 48 were arrested in Enfield. A 59-year-old man was detained in east London, while a man aged 76 was held in Dartford, along with a 50-year-old.

A number of large bags containing high value property were recovered from one address and police said they are "confident" these are items stolen during the burglary.

Detective Superintendent Craig Turner urged victims of the crime to "stay patient", adding: "Police officers will be in contact with them in order that we can restore this property back to its rightful owners."

All seven suspects - described as white British males - have been taken to a London police station while officers continue to search the properties.

Police also apologised to victims of the raid after a call from a security firm about an intruder alert at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company shortly after midnight on Good Friday was deemed not to require a response.

Mr Spindler said: "On this occasion the systems and processes that we have in place with the alarm companies weren't followed and as a result of that officers did not attend the premises when in fact they probably should have done and for that I want to apologise."

Scotland Yard confirmed that a security guard attended the address but "saw nothing more than our officers would have done had they been deployed".

The force added: "We are working closely with the alarm industry to improve the call handling and response processes at both ends to ensure nothing like this happens again.

"A more detailed investigation into the defeat of the alarm system at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd is ongoing and we will share the lessons learned with the business community in due course."