Last Friday saw the completion of a week long secret operation conducted by East Cambs Police which saw several individuals arrested and charged for under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Code name Operation Edison, many local officers spearheaded by Sergeant Phil Priestly and followed by local members of the press. The mission statement read “Operation Edison is a coordinated effort to impact on the illegal supply of controlled drugs in East Cambs”.
Day 1 – Monday – Briefings in Ely
Edison started on Monday with the signing off on the warrants by magistrates followed by 2 briefings, an in depth and lengthy Police only meeting then one with those media outlets interested in taking part to which Spotted in Ely had been invited.
The briefing showed detailed information about the individuals in question and the locations to which the raids would take place. It was initially hoped that all 4 raids would take place at the same time but the manpower needed just was not available and so the Police moved in on each of the 4 targets, one day after the other.
Each raid had been carefully planned using local intelligence to decide at what times of day and what day of week to serve the warrants on the properties. 2 of the properties were designated hard targets (ie forced entry) and 2 were soft targets (ie knock on door entry) due to potentially children being on the scene. 1 warrant was in Ely, 2 in Soham and 1 in Littleport.
Day 2 – Tuesday – Ely
The Police had in the morning despatched 2 observation officers to the vicinity of Springhead Lane where the suspects flat is and they were anticipating a visitor and marked vehicles were held on standby at Ely Police Station to await a sighting of the second person. The second person was thought to be the delivery or supplier of the original suspect but after a wait and no show the Police moved in.
The occupant of the flat Lisa Riches was immediately arrested and a kinder egg containing what was thought to be heroin was discovered. A second female in the property was released as she appeared to have no knowledge of the substances. Stolen items have also been recovered from the property and Riches, 45 from Ely was later charged at Kings Lynn Station for possession of a Class A drug and further investigations into the stolen items continue.
Also while there, a man approached the property and began to walk away which raised suspicion and undercover officers pursued but after a through search and questioning was also released.
Day 3 – Wednesday – Soham
Day 3 was to be a soft target on Kingfisher Drive and not carried out until the early evening. After entering the property a search began to which 10 1/2 oz or 300 grams of cannabis was discovered. A value depending on purity of around £1000 and a small amount of cash also found, thought to be from sale of the product.
While officers were on scene, a second man knocked on the day and when he realised that the Police were inside, well he did a runner and a pursuit followed with him being detained.
Both men were detained on further investigations now continue.
Day 4 – Thursday – Soham
A media frenzy surrounded this raid. The Police had hoped to have use of heavy equipment to break down the door as intelligence suggested the door was reinforced. The raid was quick and door was attacked via hinges as the framework was dead bolted in 5 places. The noise from the arrival of Police vehicles and many media vehicles certainly brought out the neighbourhood.
On scene, Ian Clarke from Heron Croft, Soham was arrested and later charged with possession of Class A (Heroin) and Class B (Cannabis) drugs following admissions in interview. Police also found a pedal bicycle which was etched and they are hoping to reunite with the owner as soon as possible. Clarke denied knowledge the bike was stolen.
Day 5 – Friday – Littleport
The final day was a soft evening knock on the door but yielded a great result to end the week.
A thorough search of the premises presented evidence of drug dealing and class A drugs (cocaine powder) and class B drugs (herbal cannabis) were seized from the location. In addition there were signs and symptoms of drug preparation on the property. A quantity of cash thought to be slightly less than £2,000 has been seized.
A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. They have been detained at the Police Investigation Centre at Kings Lynn overnight and will be interviewed later today.
It is thought that both will be detained for approximately a month on police bail pending analysis of digital media and the controlled substances.
It was a delight to watch the Police doing their duties this week and as we all know drugs are one of the worse issues we could have on the streets of our small city. They lead to various other crimes but on top of breaking down doors and causing the disruption necessary to rid the streets of drugs, it was great to see the Police backed up by PCSO’s who knock on doors of neighbours and explain why they are there and how assistance can be offered.
Sergeant Priestly isn’t done, he plans to take on more issues like these and let the media have all of the details so that exposure can be used as a deterrent against further drug related crime in East Cambs. They certainly helped the media understand every process and gave interviews like the one above after each instance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]