Detectives from the Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at Cheshire Police have this morning (Tuesday 9 October) made a number of arrests as part of an operation into an explosive device found in Warrington in February.
Four men aged between 28 and 33 were arrested at three addresses in Warrington and one address in Runcorn. Three men, aged 28, 38 and 31 were produced from prison. All of the men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to possess explosives and conspiracy to supply cocaine. They are currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries.
The arrests - which are not terrorist related - come as part of an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit after a grenade was placed under a car on Cleveland Road in Warrington in the early hours of 24 February 2018.
The warrants were executed at Bernard Avenue, Appleton, Warrington, Forster Street, Warrington, Lilac Crescent, Runcorn and Greenwood Crescent, Warrington. A 28-year-old, 38-year-old and 31-year-old were produced from prison.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Evans, from the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “Firstly I want to reassure the local community that the arrests made this morning are not linked to terrorism.
“Today’s operation centered on an influential and established organised crime group in Warrington. Since the device was discovered a lengthy investigation has enabled detectives to establish the full circumstances of what took place. By gathering evidence and intelligence it has helped lead us to those we believe were responsible.
“Protecting vulnerable people and our communities from serious and organised crime is paramount. Today’s arrests send a very clear message that we are dedicated and committed in finding all those involved in criminal activity.”
Following the arrests residents can expect to see police officers patrolling the area to provide further reassurance.
Detective Chief Inspector Evans added: “Our fight against serious and organised crime continues and we will not stop until those involved realise Cheshire is a very difficult place to operate.
“It is everybody’s business to help disrupt organised crime within our communities and we need your support in providing us with any information. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to a police officer then you can pass information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”