Operation Nemesis Continues

Police in Stoke-on-Trent have raided five addresses this morning as part of the force’s ongoing Operation Nemesis campaign.

The operation, led by Inspector Mark Hardern, commander of Tunstall Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU), was the result of information received from concerned members of the public about drug misuse in their community.

Warrants under the Misuse of Drugs Act were executed at five addresses by a team of officers including response and neighbourhood officers, Special Constables and dog handlers from the force’s Tactical Support Unit.

Officers raided addresses in King William Street, Tunstall; Finch Place in Brindley Ford; Sherwin Road in Stanfield and Bishop Road and Warren Road in Chell Heath.

One man, aged 31, was arrested at the address in King William Street on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis.

These properties were targeted by officers following concerns raised by local residents of suspicious activities at the addresses. Together with our partners we will continue to target, and take action against, those people who are involved in drugs activity, and help to improve life for all members of the communities we serve.

Operation Nemesis is a recognised, force-wide campaign which continues to disrupt the activities of drug dealers in our county. Our message is clear – drug misuse will not be tolerated in Stoke-on-Trent.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the public for letting us know their concerns – and encourage others to come forward and do the same. We will endeavour to act on all information received.

Anyone with information about the supply of drugs in their community is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Two Jailed After Operation Nemesis Raids

Carl Moreton and Peter Rogers both from Winghay Place in Chell are waking up behind bars this morning after being convicted of serious drug offences at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.

Moreton & Rogers were both arrested during high profile raids that took place early on the morning of Wednesday 19 May. Officers from the City’s police proactive unit supported by police dogs and local officers forced their way into a number of addresses in the Chell area of Stoke-on-Trent.

Within a few minutes of the coordinated raids six people were in police custody. Detailed searches of the properties soon resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of illegal drugs. Forensic tests were carried out on the drugs which had a total street value of £138,420 and included heroin, crack cocaine, cannabis and an ecstasy substitute.

Operation Nemesis is all about bringing criminals like this to justice. We are very pleased that these men face a significant time behind bars. The communities of Stoke-on-Trent have continued to show their support for Operation Nemesis by calling Crimestoppers with information on drugs and crime affecting their communities. Crimestoppers passes that anonymous information to our officers who are then able to mount operations like the one that lead to these convictions.

Carl Moreton was sentenced to 4-years and Peter Rogers was sentenced to 6 years 8 months

Tony Walley ““ On My Stoke-on-Trent Soapbox

Government Cuts Threaten Community Stability

The recent Government announcement that there will be a 4% cut in Police Funding is something that worries me greatly.

Staffordshire Police have the responsibility of keeping all 238,000 of the population of Stoke-on-Trent safe in an area of 36 square miles.

The forces Neighbourhood Policing Units [NPU] have proved to be a major success. They have brought a sense of good old fashioned policing [minus the clip “Ëœround the back of the ear] back onto the streets of our sometimes troubled City.

NPU’s have had a massive impact on reducing Anti Social Behaviour [ASB] across the city, in fact this year there has been a reduction of 20% in ASB incidents.

I have seen at first hand the way these NPU’s work, and the effect that they have on ASB. PCSO’s and PC’s patrol all areas in particular problem estates. They get to know the faces of the movers and shakers. They gain the trust of the young people and help them to find places like youth clubs so that they can hang out together safely and take part in a variety of activities provided by the Local Authority and the Police.

The partnership working between the council and the police has yielded dividends.

Area Implementation Teams working together with Ward Councillors and the NPU’s meet regularly and listen to the concerns of Resident Association representatives. This helps the Police to target areas where incidents of ASB are affecting the life of the residents of a particular area.

In the area that I live in, Rob Flello MP along with our ward councillors, the AIT and the Police worked together to snuff out what was a considerable amount of ASB that absolutely blighted the lives of the residents of Meir Hay and the surrounding areas. A Section 30 dispersal notice was implemented for a period of 6 months and complete calm was restored to the area.

Two years on and although there are a few isolated incidents, the area is relatively ASB free.

The impact of the cuts in funding to the Police as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review and the very recent announcement that Stoke-on-Trent City Council are looking to save £33million this year and the same for the next 3 consecutive years, will no doubt have a significant effect of the Policing and the services provided by our City Council.

If youth funding is cut and NPU’s are affected by cuts in Police funding, ASB could become a real problem for every community in the City.

Our NPU’s here in Stoke-on-Tent have played a prominent part in the success of the celebrated Operation Nemises. Cllr Abi Brown’s blog tells the tale, so does the number of cannabis factory closures across the city, including one on the corner of the cul de sac where I live.

David Cameron is always banging on about the big society. Well young people are a major part of our society. We must provide activities which are aimed towards their age groups and keeps them engaged. It is only when youth becomes disaffected that ASB pushes it’s self to the fore.

The big society would encourage the residents of the communities to provide the activities that would engage the youth of today.

But, a progressive society needs, in my opinion, services like the City Council’s Uth Service.

They get out there on the streets and they deliver the kind of activities that the youth of today want. If we cut this service, there will be, in all probability, a rapid rise in the number of reported ASB related issues.

If there are any changes to the way the NPU’s are run, or a reduction in the number of PCSO’s and PC’s on the beat, who will deal with the increased number of ASB incidents?

Furthermore, what impact will this reduction in funding have and will it result in the loss of youth services and an end to successful policing initiatives?

The answer is on that is quite simple and very probable, the lives of everyone who lives in all the communities across the 6 towns of Stoke-on-Trent will take a turn for the worse and ASB will become even more prominent on our streets.

I sympathise with Cllr Adrian Knapper who is fighting hard to keep the City Farm afloat in one guise or another. But I do wish our councillors would fight to keep our children’s centres and our youth services open and funded to a level where the services they provide can continue without a reduction.

Above all I appeal to all 60 elected representatives to fight to keep our celebrated and successful Police Force fully funded which will allow for the NPU’s to continue their invaluable work on the streets of our communities and our old people safe in their homes.

Drug House Closure, Meir ““ A Tale of Stoke-on-Trent Community Spirit

Broadway is a leafy part of the Meir Park & Sandon ward, bordered by Longton High and its grounds, the A50, and the shops on Weston Road.

It is comprised largely of privately owned terraced and semi detached houses, Broadway has a very active Residents Association and long time residents will tell you how not so many years ago, properties in this area were put up for sale and sold within the week, so desirable an area was it.

However in recent months, an issue of growing concern has been festering away in Broadway ““ and today saw it finally burst. Just after 10am this morning, District Judge Taylor granted permission for Staffordshire Police to close a property on Broadway Place for two months, following a catalogue of statements from local residents and others about activities at the property since the beginning of the year.

From the front door of the property, it is less than 20metres to the entrance to Longton High, and some of those who came foward to provide the evidence for the closure included teachers and others connected with the school. The sale and use of Class A drugs from the house caused massive concern for everyone in the locality ““ characterised by multiple visits, day and night, to the property, leading to arguments and shouting at all hours, causing great distress to neighbours and other residents.

The district judge commented that there was “Ëœoverwhelming evidence’ that the activities taking place at the property caused disruption and distress to local residents and the school, and also commended local residents for standing up to this serious nuisance in their neighbourhood. He said he hoped that this would be a clear example to others elsewhere in the City that there is hope for their community to be protected against such behaviour.

The court order was unopposed and hours later the house had been secured, with a number of large posters, giving details of the order, on display. Houses in the area were also leafleted to inform them of what had happened. When I visited the property this afternoon, there was an air of calm around the area, with a steady stream of local residents coming to see if what they’d all been hoping for had finally happened. Several residents I talked to spoke of their relief, explaining that they’d just had enough in the end and were more than happy to help the police with evidence to return their neighbourhood to how it had been.

As a local councillor, today has been full of ups and downs ““ to listen to the evidence behind the closure order, the day to day events residents and others lived through, was humbling, however to hear what that same community did, working with the police to turn that situation around, was truly fantastic, and I have nothing but unstinting respect for those whose statements contributed to gaining the order, and for our local police ““ led by Insp Sharrard-Williams – in achieving such a good result for the community. Local councillors’ small part in all this was supporting the Residents Association and providing money for securing the premises, something we were all more than happy to do.

Last night, the house in Broadway Place remained dark and empty, and hopefully residents will have their first night of decent sleep in quite some time, while the message goes out strongly into the local community that drug dealing and anti social behaviour are not acceptable here anymore.

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

Operation Nemises Update: Court Appearance For Three

Following a series of morning raids across the north of Stoke-on-Trent, Operation Nemises continues to yield results.

Two men and one woman from the Chell area of the city will today appear in court on serious drugs related charges.

Staffordshire Police had raided 5 properties as part of the ongoing Operation Nemesis.

The 5 properties, all in close proximity to each other around Monks Neil Park, were raided simultaneously by around 30 undercover officers who used force to gain entry. Search warrants were issued for the raids after reports from members of the public and investigations by the police.

No drugs were found at either of the properties on Sutton Place and no arrests were made.

As the searches on Sutton Place were being carried out other officers had raided 2 properties on Winghay Place and one on Ward Place.

A large quantity of what is believed to be class A drugs, were found at one of the properties on Winghay Place, hidden in a car. The car was taken away for forensic examination.

A male was arrested at the property in Ward Place and Police firearms officers were called to check and make safe a number of firearms which were found at the property.

Six Arrested During Morning Raids For Operation Nemesis

Staffordshire Police raided 5 properties in the Chell Heath Area of the city this morning as part of the ongoing Operation Nemesis.

The 5 properties, all in close proximity to each other around Monks Neil Park, were raided simultaneously by around 30 undercover officers who used force to gain entry. Search warrants were issued for the raids after reports from members of the public and investigations by the police. Continue reading

Operation Nemesis One Arrested

Police arrested a woman at an address in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, in connection with drugs offences.

The 51-year-old was arrested at a property on Newfield Street last night (17 March), after officers executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

A small cannabis factory was found in a bedroom at the location. The factory made up of approximately 12 plants was found during the search.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the cultivation of cannabis and taken to the force’s Northern Area Custody Facility for questioning. She has been released on bail, pending further inquiries, until May.

Staffordshire Police is continuing to target those involved in the supply of drugs under its Operation Nemesis campaign, and anyone with concerns about drug misuse in their community is urged to get in touch.

The following are some of the tell tale signs of properties being used for growing cannabis.
They include:

    Windows permanently covered from the inside
    Visits to the premises at unusual times of the day or night
    People visiting just to “maintain” the house
    Daily or weekly calls at the house by people who stay for a short time
    Black bin bags or laundry bags being taken away
    Compost bags or gardening equipment left outside, usually at the rear of the premises
    Vents protruding through the roof or a rear window
    Strange, pungent smells from the premises
    Unusual noises from equipment such as cooling fans

Anyone with information about drug use in their community is urged to call police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Operation Nemesis – Cannabis Factory Uncovered In Etruria

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of being concerned in the cultivation of cannabis.

Officers were called to Mere Side Close, Etruria, yesterday evening (1 February) following a call from a concerned member of the public reporting suspicious activity at an address in the street. This property was also the only one which did not have a roof covered in snow on Sunday morning.

After attending the location officers arrested a 22-year-old male in the vicinity on suspicion of cultivating cannabis. He remains in police custody where he will be questioned.

Officers are at the address this morning and have recovered approximately 350 cannabis plants at various stages of cultivation. The loft, garage and upstairs rooms of the property have all been used to grow cannabis plants.

Inspector Martin Brereton, commander of Burslem Neighbourhood Policing Unit, which covers Etruria, said, ‘Thanks to a member of the public, who was rightly suspicious of the activities at this address, we have arrested a man at the scene. The fact that snow had melted so quickly from the roof of this address raised concern that intense heat was coming from the property. I would like to thank members of the public for letting us know their concerns about suspicious activity involving drug misuse in their community. We will endeavour to act on all information received.’

Police and Crimestoppers say the following are some of the tell tale signs of properties being used for growing cannabis.

– Windows permanently covered from the inside
– Visits to the premises at unusual times of the day or night
– People visiting just to “maintain” the house
– Daily or weekly calls at the house by people who stay for a short time
– Black bin bags or laundry bags being taken away
– Compost bags or gardening equipment left outside, usually at the rear of the premises
– Vents protruding through the roof or a rear window
– Strange, pungent smells from the premises
– Unusual noises from equipment such as cooling fans

Anyone with information about the supply of drugs is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Operation Nemesis – 2 Arrested In Fenton

Police in Stoke-on-Trent have arrested two people at an address in Fenton on suspicion of drugs offences.

Plain clothed officers executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at an address in Goldenhill Road this morning.

A 32-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man were arrested at the address on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A Drugs. They are being questioned at the force’s Northern Area Custody Facility.

Officers also recovered a quantity of what is believed to heroin – with an estimated street value of £1,000 – at the address, along with a number of suspected stolen electrical items.

DS Adrian Martin, from the Proactive Unit of Stoke-on-Trent division, said, ‘This morning’s warrant was executed following information received from members of the public, who were concerned about suspicious activity at the address. Under Operation Nemesis officers will continue to target those suspected of being involved in drugs offences. Drugs will not be tolerated in Stoke-on-Trent. Those involved in such activity will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.’