Stitches Shawn Mendes
Dozens of suspected drug dealers have been arrested as part of a major operation in Nottinghamshire.
Officers working on Operation Vanguard have been gathering community intelligence against suspected dealers in and around Lenton and Radford in Nottingham and Stapleford and Beeston in Broxtowe since August last year.
During eight days of raids 57 people were arrested and heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, amphetamine, cannabis and thousands of pounds in cash were seized.
Detective Inspector Andy Crouch told Capital they want to make the streets completely drug free - "what we need to make sure now is the public keep telling us, so the problem doesnt re-occur - if we're not vigiliant - it will come back".
He told us the raids came about largely because they were hearing from concerned residents about the problem of drugs in their area.
So far, 26 people have been charged, with 16 being remanded in custody. A total of 74 charges have been brought, which all relate to the supply of Class A and B drugs.
During the crackdown, which started on January 31, 36 search warrants were executed and around 80 police officers, PCSOs and Community Protection Officers were involved.
Detective Inspector Leigh Sanders, who led the Operation, said: “The operation had a core of 12 detectives, who worked long and antisocial hours, in an effort to identify a whole host of offenders.
“As more and more information came in, we were able to uncover a vast network of street-level dealers, and gathered high quality intelligence.
“When we finalised the warrants we identified around 60 individuals and I am pleased to say we have arrested almost all of them, many of whom have now been charged.”
The arrests are part of a closely coordinated operation between police and partner agencies deliberately aimed at getting tough on drug dealers and the people who condone their activities.
Teams of police and council officers targeted neighbourhoods immediately after the arrests, carrying out a sweep for abandoned or burnt out vehicles, fly tipping, graffiti and damage to homes and other property.
Surrounding addresses also received a letter signed by senior police and council officials telling them what had happened.
Housing officials from Nottingham City Homes carried out unannounced inspections with a view to pursuing eviction notices.