Drugs crackdown cops raid homes in four towns including Stevenage
POLICE targeted 20 properties across three counties early this morning (Thursday) and arrested 11 people. The simultaneous dawn raids were carried out in Stevenage, Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley. The move was part of a significant operation to dis
POLICE targeted 20 properties across three counties early this morning (Thursday) and arrested 11 people.
The simultaneous dawn raids were carried out in Stevenage, Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley.
The move was part of a significant operation to dismantle and disrupt an organised crime group suspected of supplying Class A drugs and criminal use of firearms in Bedfordshire.
A substantial number of items were seized, including a firearm, and these will be subject to scientific analysis and further investigation.
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The discovery of a significant amount of suspected dangerous chemicals at one of the properties in a multi-occupancy house in Luton necessitated the evacuation of all the residents while the location was made safe.
Armed police and dog handlers were involved in the raids which were conducted at 5am.
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Searches of the properties will take place throughout the day with police cordons in place.
Chief Supt Mark Turner, divisional commander of Luton Police, said today's operation was significant and a direct response to public concerns.
He added: "It may have caused some disruption to people for which we apologise. However, our response today was necessary and justified against a backdrop of drug dealing and associated criminality.
"We are acutely aware of the fear drugs and violence bring to our communities, which is why this operation has been carried out. It has taken many months to piece together the necessary information, intelligence and evidence in order for today to happen. There is a long way to go but we are confident offenders will be charged and brought to justice."
The raids were masterminded by Bedfordshire Police supported by Hertfordshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police.