Scotland Yard tonight said a further two men, aged 58 and 43, were detained following an earlier announcement that seven men had been held on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.
The Met announced the development as it revealed it had recovered a “significant amount of high-value property” after raiding 12 addresses across London and Kent.
Flying Squad detectives also apologised after confirming that alarm-response procedures had not been followed, but rejected the suggestion they were bungling “Keystone Cops”.
Police said that the nine men arrested were aged between 43 and 76.
The Met has faced criticism after it emerged a call from a security firm about an intruder alert at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company after midnight on Good Friday was deemed not to require a response.
Referring to this, Commander Peter Spindler said: “On this occasion, the systems and processes that we have in place with the alarm companies weren’t followed and, as a result of that, officers did not attend the premises when in fact they probably should have done, and for that I want to apologise.”
Defending the Met’s response, he added: “At times we’ve been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops but I want to reassure you that, in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice to the victims of this callous crime.
“They’ve worked tirelessly and relentlessly, they’ve put their lives on hold over the last six or seven weeks to make sure that justice is served.”
A gang of thieves broke into the vault at the safe deposit company over the Easter weekend in London’s jewellery quarter.
Scotland Yard said a security guard attended the scene but “saw nothing more than our officers would have done had they been deployed”.
A more detailed investigation into the bypassing of an alarm system is continuing and Scotland Yard will share any lessons learned. Detectives said they were confident the items recovered during the searches had been stolen in the burglary. Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of the Flying Squad, urged victims of the crime to “stay patient”, adding: “Police officers will be in contact with them in order that we can restore this property back to its rightful owners.”
The first seven suspects held were described as white British males.
More than 200 officers raided properties yesterday morning, and four suspects – aged 67, 74, 58, and 48 – were arrested in Enfield. A 59-year-old man was detained in east London, while a man aged 76 was held in Dartford, with a 50-year-old. A 58-year-old and a man aged 43 were later arrested.