24/11/2011 06:49 GMT | Updated 24/11/2011 06:54 GMT

Homes Raided In 'War On Crime' (But Why Was Boris Johnson Left In The Cold?)

Britain's top police officer "put the doors in" on hundreds of suspects as he launched a war on the capital's drug dealers.

Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe was joined by London mayor Boris Johnson on one of hundreds of raids in a massive one-day crackdown.

About 4,000 safer neighbourhood officers and police community support officers (PCSOs), supported by specialist colleagues, were carrying out 300 operations against neighbourhood crime across 32 boroughs.

Mr Hogan-Howe and Mr Johnson watched as officers smashed their way into a suspected drugs den in Peckham, south-east London. But hopes of an arrest were dashed as officers failed to find any substances as they questioned a teenage suspect at his home.

Unlike a previous raid he attended, officers stopped Mr Johnson entering the second-floor property. He remarked as he left that it "may have been because of a scantily-clad lady" inside.

Mr Hogan-Howe said the fresh round of strikes on neighbourhood criminals was part of his "war on crime".

He said: "It's all about responding to local concerns and acting on them to crack down on crime rapidly and effectively. The idea is that we take our intelligence to a magistrate, ask for a warrant and 'put the doors in' as quickly as possible right across London.

"It's a renewed emphasis on Safer Neighbourhoods teams making the most of local intelligence and acting on it.

"To help us do this, we need to encourage communities to talk to us and report concerns, but then we must reward this trust by delivering swift results and telling people what action we have taken."

Operation Hawk began with a series of radio adverts launched on November 16, urging Londoners to pass community intelligence about crime and disorder to officers. It followed a similar initiative led by Mr Hogan-Howe during his time as chief of Merseyside police.