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Police operation to crack down on drug related crime leads to more than 60 arrests

PUBLISHED: 15:53 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:39 04 May 2017

A knife discovered by police around Alderman Road Recreation Ground in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

A knife discovered by police around Alderman Road Recreation Ground in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

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A police crackdown on drug dealing in Ipswich and the violence that surrounds it has led to more than 60 arrests in seven weeks.

Police officers conduct a search for weapons around Alderman Road Recreation Ground in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTPolice officers conduct a search for weapons around Alderman Road Recreation Ground in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Operation Woven, Suffolk police’s reaction to the recent upsurge in drug related violence in the town, was launched in March with the aim of deterring crime and anti-social behaviour linked to dealing and drug use.

Two men were charged yesterday with possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply following a raid on an address in Mountbatten Court, off Prospect Street, where around 400 wraps of crack cocaine were discovered.

Craig Akena, 20, of Moorey Close, Newham, London, and Joshua Griffin, 26 of Springhurst Close, Ipswich, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich yesterday.

This week officers conducted searches of the Jubilee Park and Alderman Road Recreation Ground areas in the town as part of a national campaign against knife crime, using important intelligence gathered from Operation Woven.

A search of the area around Jubilee Park in Ipswich unearthed a haul of weapons including knives and an axe. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTA search of the area around Jubilee Park in Ipswich unearthed a haul of weapons including knives and an axe. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Officers unearthed a number of weapons, believed to have been stashed by drug dealers in the area, including knives, screwdrivers and an axe.

Sgt Phil Barrett, who was leading the search, said dealers hid the weapons so they couldn’t be prosecuted for carrying them but would have easy access if they wanted to use them.

“We are supporting operation Woven by having a targeted approach to investigation led searches in areas that we believe are subject to either knife crime or drug crime, and in some places both,” he said.

“If you were to carry a knife and found in possession the maximum penalty is four years imprisonment so those that are involved in knife crime and drugs hide them and find them at a later time when they feel they need a blade.”

Officers also discovered a drug den near Alderman Road Recreation Ground. A pile of disposed needles and drug paraphernalia was found nearby. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTOfficers also discovered a drug den near Alderman Road Recreation Ground. A pile of disposed needles and drug paraphernalia was found nearby. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Police say there have been more than 60 arrests since the operation began - including seven in the space of two days.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “I think we have got a problem in Suffolk of people coming from London, Merseyside and elsewhere peddling drugs.

“We know there is a link between high levels of knife crime (and drugs). Police are doing a great deal and very successful operation work to deal with these dreadful people.”

Superintendent Kerry Cutler, head of policing in Ipswich said: “Information and intelligence from members of the public remains crucial to helping us tackle the blight of drugs.

“If people don’t feel confident contacting us directly, then I would urge them to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 to report any suspicious activity.

“Alternatively please do contact your local policing team on 101.”


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