London: Scotland Yard has staged a series of dawn swoops in a pre-emptive strike to avoid trouble at this year's Notting Hill Carnival.

A total of 40 suspects have been arrested in raids across the capital during preparations for the force's biggest policing presence at the event.

The Metropolitan police launched a "robust" carnival strategy as intelligence suggested gangs are planning trouble. A team of armoured officers descended on one leafy terraced street in west London to arrest an 18-year-old suspected drug dealer as officers executed five warrants yesterday morning.

Record numbers of police officers will be on duty across the capital during the Notting Hill carnival, Scotland Yard has said.

The event, which attracts up to a million people, is taking place this year in "unusual and exceptional" circumstances, said Commander Steve Rodhouse of the Metropolitan police, referring to riots across England earlier this month.

Strong presence

Rodhouse, the Met's spokesman for the arnival, confirmed there would be around 16,000 officers on duty throughout the bank holiday weekend across the capital. The Met is continuing to get help from outside forces.

The number of officers on duty at the carnival on Sunday and Monday will be more than ever before. In addition, it is understood police will use Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which gives officers powers to stop and search individuals in a designated area without reasonable suspicion.