Warwickshire Police arrest seven on first day of ‘Operation X’
POLICE have stormed into two homes in Warwick Gates and Leamington this morning (Monday) and made arrests as a new crime-busting operation was launched.
Warwickshire Police has set aside dedicated funding to run Operation X - aimed at cracking down on criminals in Leamington, Rugby and Nuneaton - over the next 15 months.
The force’s Deputy Chief Constable Neil Brunton, who is overseeing the Leamington parts of the operation, told a team of some 20 officers and staff who were about to execute two warrants today that almost a quarter of all crime in the county is committed in these three areas.
He said: “If we put more resources into these locations, we can tackle the people who are causing the most harm.
“Operation X is about improving confidence, reducing crime and focusing on the areas that are disproportionately affected by crime.
“It’s also about making sure we are showing that there are consequences for those who are causing harm.”
He added: “We want to make sure that people who are travelling into Warwickshire to commit crime know that they will find it the most hostile environment as possible.
“This is not a one day operation. It’s sustained, it’s relentless and it will go on for 15 months minimum. Every day there will be 100 dedicated proactive officers working towards Operation X.
“It’s different and it’s going to work.”
On the first day of the operation, seven arrests were made in the three towns - including at homes in Warwick Gates and Leamington.
At around 8am, officers stormed into a property in Sir Toby Belch Drive and arrested an 18-year-old man and a 39-year-old man.
They were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis with an estimated street value of £300.
Officers spent around two hours searching the property and they found hydroponic growing equipment, but no plants.
Then at 11.20am, the same police team smashed the front door of a home in Brunswick Street, close to the border between Leamington and Whitnash, and apprehended a man who attempted to escape from out of a window on the first floor to the back of a property.
A lengthy search was also carried out at this address, where it was suspected that drugs-related illegal activity was taking place.
Speaking at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington at lunch time, Dep Chief Cons Brunton said that seven arrests had been made across the county and, as well as quantities of drugs, two imitation firearms and a “substantial” amount of cash from suspected drugs deals were seized today.
He said: “I am pleased with the first crucial day on Operation X. We are happy that we are able to act on our information successfully.”
Police and crime commissioner Ron Ball, who accompanied the police team at the Warwick Gates address, said: “In order to have any credibility, I need to occasionally have a look at officers in operation.
“This operation has been funded by the efficiencies the force has made over the past year and it looks to be a very good use of money to me.
“It’s common sense to target the people whoare causing the most harm and disrupt them.
“It’s difficult to talk about future years yet, but I will certainly be looking to fund this type of operation where I can.”
Anyone who thinks they have information that may help police working on Operation X is urged to contact officers on 101 or by passing on information anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
People can also tweet officers @warkspolice#OpX or find them on Facebook.
A more detailed account of today’s activities will be published in Friday’s Courier and Weekly News.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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