Police make 21 arrests after targeting county lines and modern slavery
PUBLISHED: 15:27 16 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 16 November 2019
Class A drugs, cash and weapons have been recovered by police following a week of action targeting county lines, modern day slavery and road offences in Suffolk.
Officers made 21 arrests including a 17-year-old girl who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
A total of 14 warrants were executed at a number of homes in Ipswich from Monday, November 11 until yesterday, with police safeguarding a number of vulnerable people.
Road checks also took place, with vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality brought back to a check site in Ipswich on Monday for police and partner agencies to conduct inspections.
On Wednesday, officers worked with partners at a different location in Ipswich, with the aim of tackling modern day slavery offences, the exploitation of vulnerable people and road-related crime.
This saw 24 vehicles with 74 occupants brought into the site where safe and well checks were carried out, with Suffolk police supported by Immigration Enforcement and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).
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Ian Waterfield, GLAA director of pperations, said: "Working in partnership is the only way we can truly tackle the problem of modern slavery and labour exploitation at source.
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"We have an excellent relationship with Suffolk police allowing us to work together to protect some of the most vulnerable people in the county and target the criminality behind this exploitation.
"As intelligence-led organisations, we rely on the public's help to spot the signs of exploitation and report their concerns to us. If you suspect something is not right, let us know and we can investigate."
Following further vehicle checks, five people were arrested for offences such as driving without insurance, suspicion of drink driving, and for immigration offences.
The DVLA recovered almost £4,000 in fines and Marston debt recovery collected around £13,000 in fines. A further £460 was collected by Ipswich Borough Council.
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Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Mattin said: "This week of action has been all about proactively tackling those involved in trafficking drugs, violence and the exploitation of vulnerable people across the county.
"This was an intelligence-led operation with a number of officers and partner agencies all working together in order to disrupt and pursue criminals, to protect our communities from harm.
"Apart from the arrests and seizures made, the week has also enabled us to gather plenty of significant intelligence - this will prove to be very valuable as we plan for future warrants and operations to continue to catch criminals and keep our communities safe."
If you are aware of any suspicious activity taking place in your community, please let us know by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also report an incident online by clicking here.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.