Operation Nemesis Three Years On

The award-winning Operation Nemesis the police operation to crackdown on drug dealers in Staffordshire is celebrating its third anniversary.

Operation Nemesis was launched in Stoke-on-Trent on 13 September 2007 following an undercover police operation which had lasted over a year in the city. Around 400 police officers attended the city’s Kings Hall at 5am that day to be briefed on the first of three major arrest operations over a three-month period.

Since its launch Operation Nemesis has netted hundreds of suspected drug dealers who have been arrested and taken off the streets of Staffordshire. Many of these offenders have subsequently been charged and sent to prison for drugs offences.

Since that day Operation Nemesis became part of daily business for Staffordshire Police and, following the success of the campaign in Stoke-on-Trent, it has subsequently been rolled out across the county.

£2.7m has been recovered through asset recovery linked to the Operation Nemesis campaign in the past 3 years.

Operation Nemesis remains Staffordshire Police’s commitment to tackling major drug dealers and bringing them to justice.

Drug misuse will not be tolerated in Staffordshire and we will act on all information received regarding suspected drug dealing in the communities we serve.

We are determined to carry on working with our partner agencies to rid communities of drug dealing and the negative effect it has on neighbourhoods and families.

We continue to work closely with our colleagues in local authorities and those who work for Staffordshire’s drug support and treatment services. We place a huge emphasis on helping addicts kick their habit. We also offer a great deal of support to their family and friends to help them achieve this.

I must take this opportunity to thank members of the public for their continued help and support with Operation Nemesis. The campaign’s ongoing success is testament to the confidence people have in providing us with information about suspected drugs activity in their community. The help we receive from the public is vital and I would encourage people to continue to let us know their concerns.

Residents tell us they want robust action taken against dealers, and the criminal activity and anti-social behaviour they attract, and we will continue to take positive action.

Operation Nemesis carries a simple message to drug offenders: we are not going away and we will bring you to justice.

The number of people who have been arrested in connection with drugs offences (which includes supply of, possession, possession with intent to supply, production and trafficking) since the launch of Operation Nemesis:

  • Sep 07 ““ March 08 ““ 1,100
  • April 08 ““ March 09 -1, 483
  • April 09 ““ March 10 ““ 1, 619

2,705 drug offences (Class A and Class B) have been recorded by Staffordshire Police since the launch of Operation Nemesis in September 2007:

  • Sep 07 ““ March 08 ““ 1,054
  • April 08 ““ March 09 ““ 870
  • April 09 ““ March 10 ““ 781

Cannabis convictions flood in – but is it the best use of police time?

News commentary by Matt Taylor A wealthy restaurant owner, Qi Xing Weng, has been convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis in the latest of the successes of Staffordshire Police’s ongoing push against drugs in the city, Operation Nemesis. The 29-year-old businessman was found to have numerous large-scale cannabis factories in the city, and was also behind a plantation in Birmingham from which 1,400 marijuana weeds were confiscated last year in a raid on a former benefits office. Amid the investigations, a bin liner containing £170,000 in cash was found at Weng’s home in Ironbridge. Searches were also carried out at his restaurants in Stafford, Stoke, Telford, Ironbridge and Shrewsbury. More cash and evidence of cannabis growing was found in the raids. Det Sgt Dave Hughes, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: “This lengthy and detailed inquiry led to the dismantling of an organised crime group which was behind wide-scale cannabis production across the West Midlands. “Cannabis factories are not just about drugs, they’re often linked to other serious crime, such as people trafficking and money laundering. We will not tolerate them, or the people behind them. “As well as tackling drug supply, Staffordshire Police is committed to taking the profit out of crime. A separate hearing will be heard in the near future course to order the removal of the assets of those convicted today." Photos of the cannabis factory in Ward End, Birmingham Earlier this year, Nemesis scooped an award for its successes, having totalled up 82 arrests, a 100 percent conviction rate, and a total of 160 years of imprisonment for those responsible. Since then, dozens more arrests have been made under the programme, with cannabis factories being found in disused warehouses and closed-down pubs breaking new records. But the question is, although criminals amassing significant wads of cash through these unlawful ventures have been held to account, is this the best use of police’s time and resources? We have seen the recent departure of the chief advisor to the government on drugs after ministers ignored his panel’s recommendations on retaining cannabis as a class C, with scientists saying that alcohol is actually more dangerous. The Cannabis Education Trust says that it doesn’t matter what classification it has, because the three or four million people who smoke it will go on using it anyway. So, even if you consider it worthy of the full weight of the law, it’s hard to believe that, with such demand, how a comparatively tiny police force will ever be able to close down such a thriving business. And besides, could time be better spent on cracking down on harder drugs which cause more misery and cause more crime? It’s well-known that the effects of heroin are far more disastrous on the lives of those who fall foul of it, and the number of small crimes committed by the same people who need to find funds to replenish their stocks. It’s also quite evident that the pill-popping, coke-snorting and amphetamine dabbing contingent contribute strongly to the out-of-control violence issues that exist in town centre nightlife. Seeing the news that another cannabis factory has been shut down is welcome in that I love to see someone making such a brilliant living by flouting the law being brought to account. But hearing that those responsible for importing, creating or distributing genuinely more dangerous drugs had been pulled in by the cops would have a much bigger impact and make me believe that an actual effort to improve things is being made, rather than an effort to get favourable headlines.