Three people have been arrested by police in southwest London as part of raids on animal extremists across England and Europe.

A 44-year-old man from Selwood Road, Croydon remains in custody after the raids yesterday.

A 50-year-old woman from Bishop Fox Road, West Moseley and a 52-year-old from Bowater Gardens, Sunbury, have both been released on police bail.

About 700 police from Hampshire, Surrey, the Met, Liverpool, Holland and Belgium arrested 32 people in the raids launched early yesterday.

Hampshire Police, which is running the animal extremist operation, said 17 people remained in custody this morning.

Fourteen others had been released on police bail while one more was released without charge.

Police have described the raids as one of the largest operations against animal rights extremists in the UK and say they have recovered many items of interest to the investigation including documents, mobile telephones, computer equipment and about £100,000 in cash.

Hi-tech crime specialists are examining the computer equipment and mobile phones while financial investigators from the City of London Police Economic Crime Unit examining the cash.

Searches will continue and are expected to last several days.

As well as Croydon, Sunbury and West Molesey, homes near Leatherhead and Woking was raided as well as others in Berkshire, Kent, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumbria, Oxford, Sussex, Worcestershire, Yorkshire, Glasgow and south Wales.

The operation targeted burglary, conspiracy to blackmail and offences against animal research operations.

Met Police also raided an address in Bedfont Road, Stanwell but there were no arrests.