Week of action on drug crime in west Suffolk nets 18 arrests
From Monday morning (30 September) and on Tuesday and Wednesday a number of addresses including the Bury and Haverhill areas were targeted. A total of 10 warrants were executed.
At each address officers carried out a full search and a number of items were seized at various premises including a quantity of class A drugs and associated paraphernalia.
The 18 arrests had been made for a variety of offences including being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
Those arrested - 17 men and one women - range in age from 14 to 48 years old.
Further teams of officers have also been working behind the scenes on the operation, with officers also dedicated to interviewing those who have been arrested and then compiling prosecution files for submission.
The operation saw officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit supported by the Serious Crime Disruption Team, officers from Operational Sentinel* the National Crime Agency as well as officers from local Safer Neighbourhood Teams all playing a key role in the enforcement activity.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Mattin, who oversaw the activity, said: "This operation has been all about targeting those who are involved in trafficking drugs into the west of the county and the supply of drugs within the area under the Operation Velocity banner.”
"There are seizures of cash, mobile phones and drugs that cannot be quantified at this time and our enquiries to establish exact numbers continue.
"This is and continues to be an intelligence led operation with assistance from our communities, for which I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the public for. I want to create the capacity to build community strength to pursue those that prey on the vulnerable and break the cycle that we see within drug markets and protect the vulnerable.
"Our countywide operation to tackle class A drug supply under the banner of Velocity will continue to identify drug dealers and dismantle their activity. We will also look to identify those who are being exploited by their vulnerability, continue to work in partnership with other agencies and continue to gain intelligence and evidence to relentlessly pursue those responsible and ensure they are bought to justice and convicted.”
"While the scourge of county lines is a national problem we will continue to do all we can in identifying and bringing to justice those intent on committing drug related crime in our county and in doing so protecting the vulnerable and our communities.”
Policing commander for the western area, that includes Bury St Edmunds, Supt Kim Warner said: "The warrants carried out this week are part of our continuing work to deal with the misery caused by drugs.
"These arrests, disruption and seizures are all about us responding pro-actively to offences linked to illegal drugs activity. This activity clearly demonstrates that our officers are working hard to make an impact.
"The force wants to ensure the county remains a hostile environment for those involved in the supply of drugs and provide reassurance to Suffolk residents and we will continue to focus our energies on disrupting drug production and supply activity.
"However, this is not going to be solved by police alone - communities can play their part by telling us about any suspicious activity – it may be anti-social behaviour, strange comings and goings at a particular property.
"Your information may be the vital part of the jigsaw that helps us take the proactive action to disrupt and deal with individuals who are responsible. You don’t have to be certain, just concerned.
"We will continue to pursue, disrupt and arrest those people bringing criminality or anti-social behaviour, as well as constantly gathering intelligence that members of the public provide and for which we are grateful for.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Tim Passmore: "I’d say the illegal drugs trade is the greatest challenge currently facing Suffolk Constabulary so I am delighted to learn of this large number of arrests
"The main benefit from increasing the policing part of the council tax precept was to set up the Sentinel teams to intercept offenders, disrupt their activity, seize their assets and then convict them to keep Suffolk safe.
"These results speak for themselves which is excellent news for us all. This sends a clear message that Suffolk is not a 'soft touch' when it comes to serious and organised criminality.”
If you know of suspicious activity taking place in your area let police know using the 101 number and officers will respond, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
*Operational Velocity is the name that encompasses all criminality relating to class A drugs and County Lines activity in Suffolk.
*The Serious Crime Disruption Team core aim is disrupt serious and organised gangs whose criminal activity focuses on issues such as drug supply and harmful personal acquisitive crime such as robbery/burglary. Its purpose is to tackle the high threat and harm issues including the supply of controlled drugs.
*Operation Sentinel teams provide enhanced coverage of Suffolk’s road network to proactively disrupt serious and organised criminal activity as well as increasing police visibility. The mobile unit disrupts criminals using Suffolk’s road network using a variety of techniques to deal with offenders involved in the highest criminal threats proactively, firmly and securing prosecutions.
The 21-strong unit has been made possible by an increase in police numbers paid for by this year’s precept increase.