Ipswich police operation to crackdown on drug dealer and violent crime extended

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 May 2017

A large stash of cocaine seized last week during a raid. Picture: ALI LIVINGSTONE

A large stash of cocaine seized last week during a raid. Picture: ALI LIVINGSTONE

Ali Livingstone

A special operation to crackdown on drug dealing in Ipswich has been so successful it has been extended from six weeks to six months, police have said.

Weapons found during Operation Woven. Picture: ALI LIVINGSTONEWeapons found during Operation Woven. Picture: ALI LIVINGSTONE

Operation Woven began in March as a short-term method to disrupt dealers and prevent the escalating rise in drug-related violence in Ipswich over the previous six months.

It has yielded around 70 arrests, large amounts of cash and a wealth of cocaine and heroin.

Last week alone there were 30 arrests, nine people charged, £2,000 cash, and more than 700 wraps of Class A drugs found. Weapons have also been seized.

Ipswich area commander Superintendent Kerry Cutler said: “Operation Woven was due to run for six weeks, but as a result of the good work and the developing engagement with our partners it has been extended until the end of August.”

Offices are also re-emphasising their ‘think before you act’ message to anyone considering carrying a knife or bladed weapon.

It comes after various weapons were found in Jubilee Park and at Alderman recreation ground in Ipswich during a separate, but related, operation last week.

Supt Cutler said: “There is no excuse to carry a knife in Suffolk. Knife crime can have devastating consequences and if you are found illegally in possession of a knife you will be arrested, put before the court and brought to justice.

“Knives do not keep you safe – quite the opposite.

“By carrying a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger, being more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.”

During Operation Woven dozens of search warrants have been carried out in raids on properties all around the Ipswich area. A number of closure orders have been put on premises to prevent drug dealers preying on vulnerable people by using their homes as bases, or to store their drugs and weapons.

The orders are only for a relatively period of time, but prevent anyone apart from the registered occupant from entering the properties.

Woven is a response to a surge in serious violent crime in the town which became noticeable in September last year after a stabbing in Prospect Street.

Since then there has been a double-stabbing in Foundation Street and a teenager was shot in Siloam Place.

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