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Special Drug Operation Yields Results

20/12/2016

 

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 time:

 

• 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 been seized.

• 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 offences.

 

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 (POCA).


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 were recovered.


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 for.

 

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 residents.

 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 distribution bases.

 

“Operation ESTRAY is an on-going operation, seeking to bring those responsible to justice and safeguard local residents from this activity.

“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 0800 555111.”

 

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.”