Seven people were arrested by police in connection with a string of east London robberies where youths were allegedly threatened with knives.

Those arrested, all male and between 15 and 34, are suspected of committing robberies in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between November 4 and January 25.

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Police said the victims were school-aged youths who were allegedly threatened with violence, including knives, if they did not hand over their mobile phones, cash or designer clothes.

The arrests took place at several addresses in London and Essex today (August 24).

Det Supt Richard Vandenbergh, from the East Area Command Unit which covers Havering and Barking and Dagenham, said: “While the robbery of items is inconvenient and troubling in itself, there is often a long lasting impact on the way a person lives their life day-to-day.

“We are incredibly pleased with today’s arrests.”