Special Drug Operation
A special operation set up to tackle drug related crime in
Stevenage has seen success in the first weeks.
Operation ESTRAY, a local police initiative, led by a team of
dedicated staff, has been running for just five weeks. During that
• 315 wraps of Class A drugs with a street value in excess
of £6300.00 have been recovered
• Cash totalling £9749.77 has been seized.
• Six imitation firearms, six knives and other weapons have
• 20 people have been arrested.
On November 8, Paul Bennett, aged 19, from Harlow, was stopped
and found in possession of a large quantity of class A drugs. He
was subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply
class A drugs and was remanded into custody.
On November 10, a warrant was executed at an address in Watson
Road. A youth from Stevenage was arrested in connection with drugs
On November 24, four men were arrested after warrants were
carried out at Buckthorn Avenue and Walden End. A 53 year old man
from Stevenage was arrested for money laundering offences. He is
currently on police bail. A 39 year old man from London was
arrested for immigration and Proceeds of Crime (POCA) offences. He
is also currently on police bale. A 27 year old man from Stevenage
was recalled to prison and 30 year old Nazreen Younas from
Stevenage was charged with theft offences.
Cash totally £2418.00 was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act
On November 29, a warrant was executed at an address in Bedwell
Crescent. A 24 year old man from London was arrested on suspicion
of possession with intent to supply. He is currently on police
bail. Cash totaling £1728.00 was seized under POCA.
On November 30, three men from London were arrested after their
vehicle was stopped and a large quantity of Class A drugs and cash
On December 7, 22 year old Darren McCallum from Ditchmore Lane in
Stevenage was arrested and charged with being in possession of
class B drugs.
On December 8, a 23 year old man from Letchworth was arrested after
being found in possession of class A drugs.
On December 12, a warrant was executed at Homestead Moat and three
men and a youth were arrested for drugs offences. A 43 year old man
and a 53 year old man, both from Stevenage were arrested on
suspicion of being in possession of a controlled drug and a 24 year
old man from London was arrested on warrant. Cash and drugs
were recovered and a closure order for the address has been applied
Five properties are now being investigated as potential drug
distribution addresses, where vulnerable adults reside. Work is in
progress with Stevenage Borough Council to close more of these
properties and get help and support for the vulnerable
Detective Sergeant John Harlock, who is leading on
Operation Estray said: “We have seen some great disruption so far
and I would like to thank local residents for their support. The
information you provide us with about what is going on in your area
is vital to our investigations.
“We know that many of those who commit drug related crime are not
local and are travelling into the area from outside, targeting
local residents, often taking over their addresses to set up drug
“Operation ESTRAY is an on-going operation, seeking to bring
those responsible to justice and safeguard local residents from
“I would urge all local residents to report any suspicious
activity, particularly if it involves people you have not
previously seen in the area. You can call the Stevenage Safer
Neighbourhood Team on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on
Councillor Sherma Batson, Executive Member for Safer Communities
and Equalities at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We all want to
reduce crime and keep people safe so Operation ESTRAY is playing a
pivotal role in clamping down on drug related crimes, while
offering help and support to vulnerable residents in Stevenage.
This is just the start so I would encourage local residents to keep
reporting any suspicious behaviour, as together we can make
Stevenage even safer.”