Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raids across City; Police Act on Tip-Off to Swoop in Drugs Operation

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raids across City; Police Act on Tip-Off to Swoop in Drugs Operation

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

THIS is the moment police swooped to arrest suspected ringleaders supplying a network of drug dealers.

Officers smashed their way into the homes of nine suspected "Mr Bigs" believed to be behind the largescale supply of cocaine and amphetamines across Tyneside.

Simultaneous dawn raids were carried out at nine properties in Newcastle's East End and at Longbenton yesterday. The strikes followed a nine-month intelligencegathering investigation, code-named Operation Wexford launched by Northumbria Police after officers received information from the community. The raids targeted the ring-leaders believed to be behind a linked ring of pushers operating in the area.

Nine people were arrested during the early-morning swoops. Another man was taken in for questioning later in the afternoon.

Arrests took place at Wilton Avenue, Morton Street and Burwood Road in Walker, Cleadon Street in Byker, and Langdale Close and Bishoprock Drive in Longbenton.

Other searches were carried out at properties on Allendale Road in Byker, Elizabeth Drive in Forest Hall and Maybury Villas, Longbenton.

Already between PS1.5m and PS1.7m worth of drugs have been seized in the leadup to the raids. Chief Supt Gary Calvert, of Northumbria Police's Newcastle Area Command, said: "Drugs have a devastating impact both on individuals involved in use and supply and the neighbourhoods where they live, through related crime and disorder. "We know people in Walker have raised concerns - through our regular surveys - about drug use and supply in their community.

"This is an example of the large-scale operations Northumbria Police conducts to ensure the concerns raised by residents are being effectively addressed and the area continues to become a safer place to live.

"While the activity is focused on the Walker area, other places in the city are affected and our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are committed to working closely with residents and our partner agencies to ensure those causing the most harm in the community are dealt with. …

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