NEWS
24/11/2011 13:41 GMT

Operation Hawk: A Successful Mission Or A Metropolitan Police Publicity Stunt? (PICTURES)

Dawn raids smoked out criminals all over London on Thursday as thousands of officers seized drugs and lethal weapons during Operation Hawk, the Metropolitan Police’s self-branded "war on crime".

Responding to local tip-offs, officers in riot helmets stormed the hide-outs of drug dealers and thieves across the capital.

Operation Hawk has been heavily publicised both with radio adverts, social media posts and the support of high profile figures.

Scotland yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Boris Johnson took part in the dawn raids this morning, hoping that Operation Hawk's ‘crackdown on crime’ will inspire the public's ailing trust in the British Bobby.

A number of journalists also accompanied the Safer Communities officers on the operation, on what may have become an increasingly crowded mission.

However the Met Police have been determined to promote their triumphs, furiously tweeting their progress under #ophawk, with varying levels of success.

One twitter user, Jonathan Haynes fed up of the continual coverage, said

Slightly starting to wonder if @metpoliceuk has been saving up all its arrests waiting for #ophawk so it can tweet about them all day.

Another was unimpressed for a different reason:

@richyhollis: too late. Been robbed.

@adrianshort wondered if the whole thing was a PR move one step too far:

Plenty of weapons arrests today on #ophawk. So Met police left deadly weapons in criminal hands for the sake of a day's PR. Shameful.

Posting pictures of police officers posing with cannabis plants and convening back at base has provoked ridicule by some twitter users.

@KeithTrue said "Looks like Santa has gone undercover as a Police Officer to obtain someones Christmas list."

@Mr Kookies pointed out that one man at the back of the room looked liked he'd already had enough

However the pictures do give a flavour of what it must be like to take part in an adrenaline filled mission. Take a look at what the police found below.