Wealdstone High Street has been dubbed an open market for drug dealing after a series of operations were launched to tackle suppliers in the area.

Harrow police have been working closely with CCTV operators to track dealers selling there, after it was pinpointed as a trouble spot.

The latest phase of Operation Preserver took place on May 6 and resulted in 13 stop and searches and one arrest of a 22-year-old man on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

It follows a successful crackdown last month, where as much as 40 wraps of heroin and cocaine were seized from a dealer in the High Street, which would have street value of about £700, while numerous warnings were handed out for possession of cannabis.

As part of the operation, police teams have been using the CCTV control room in Harrow Civic Centre to monitor the problem.

The base in Station Road is wired to more than 150 cameras across the borough which are followed carefully by operators with radio links to the police and several shops in Harrow.

Heading the operation is Louis Smith, chief inspector of intelligence, who said: "Relatively speaking, for Harrow, Wealdstone High Street is a bit of an open market for drug dealing but it is the only area in Harrow that has this problem.

"We get a lot of people ringing in about suspected drug deals in Wealdstone and while it is not always the case, in the end we have to check these things out.

"Ultimately, this operation has helped us get evidence together, with the help of the CCTV, that we need to prosecute.

"This makes these cameras so important for reducing crime."

The manager of the CCTV control room, Roger Reeve, agreed the host of cameras in Harrow can have an important impact on crime and disputed the idea that it was intrusive.

He said: "As a borough we are probably one of the most advanced when it comes to this kind of technology. But it is not about spying or being Big Brother.

"The priority is, and will always be, about reducing and preventing crime - not anything else. And if we can help the police in doing this then it is working.

"From my experience there are only two areas of Harrow that have a problem with crime and they are Wealdstone and Harrow Bus Station. Both of which are monitored very carefully."