Police targeting organised crime swooped on a number of homes in Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales during early morning raids today (Wednesday, 10 January).
Suspects received an early morning wake-up call as more than 200 officers from Cheshire Constabulary executed warrants at addresses as part of a high-profile policing operation.
Officers simultaneously visited 19 houses in Warrington where one woman and 13 men were arrested aged between 20 and 40. One warrant was executed in Winsford with one man arrested and another man was arrested at a property in Merseyside . Another warrant was also executed in North Wales with one man arrested. All have been arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A and B drugs and are currently in custody helping police with their enquiries.
Today’s early morning strike phase is the result of a lengthy and complex investigation which was carried out by officers at Cheshire Police. It focused on an organised crime group well known in Warrington who are suspected of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs. During the operation seven firearms were also recovered and taken out of circulation.
Detective Superintendent Aaron Duggan, Head of Crime at the Constabulary, said: “Today’s coordinated arrest activity comes after 12-months of hard work. A dedicated team of officers have worked hard to gather evidence and intelligence while protecting vulnerable members of the community from those suspected of being involved in serious and organised crime.
“I am particularly pleased that this operation has reduced a significant number of firearms that were in circulation. Obviously the possibility of the criminal use of the firearms was a key threat we addressed, our action will, I hope, reassure the community that we will tackle serious crime in a positive way.
“The investigation focused on one influential and established organised crime group in Warrington who are suspected of being involved in the supply of cocaine and cannabis within the local community.
“The action taken by officers reinforces Cheshire Constabulary’s commitment to proactively target, disrupt and dismantle those suspected of being involved in organised crime.”
Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties and officers are now carrying out detailed searches of all the addresses.
Detective Superintendent Duggan added: “Today’s action can only continue if people keep coming forward with information to help us tackle serious and organised crime. I encourage anyone who has any information about organised crime activity in their community, to do the right thing and report it to us.”
“If you do not feel comfortable speaking to a police officer then you can pass information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”