Police drugs raids in Yarmouth

POLICE used a two-pronged strategy during a series of drugs raids in Yarmouth and Gorleston - combining enforcement with reassurance to the local community.

POLICE used a two-pronged strategy during a series of drugs raids in Yarmouth and Gorleston - combining enforcement with reassurance to the local community.

By the end of the 24-hour operation at lunchtime yesterday, 12 suspected drug dealers had been arrested and a drugs haul including substances believed to be heroin, cocaine and cannabis had been seized.

Immediately following on from the raids on 10 homes, officers from the borough's safer neighbourhood teams distributed hundreds of leaflets to surrounding houses, reassuring families that the operation was part of their commitment to drive drugs out of the community and improve people's quality of life.

More than 80 officers took part in the operation, which was led by undercover specialists from the force's drugs and serious crimes unit and aided by dogs trained in drugs detection.

Five people arrested on Wednesday - Daniel Silva, 31, Jeanette Wise, 48, Helder Ribiero, 35, Simon Fordham, 39, and Keith Stretton, 31 - appeared before Norwich magistrates yesterday morning accused of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

A further seven people were arrested yesterday morning and were last night still being questioned at Yarmouth police station.

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Det Chief Insp Colin Pearce said the operation, codenamed Able, had been the fruit of careful planning, involving intelligence gathering from the community and painstaking surveillance.

He said: “We are constantly working to tackle the menace of drug dealing on our streets and this operation has been another step forward for us.

“The drug dealing networks in Yarmouth and Gorleston will have been significantly disrupted as a result of our activities over the past 24 hours.

“However, our work does not stop there - people dealing in drugs can be assured we will continue to track them down.”

Insp Nick Cheshire said: “Officers from the safer neighbourhood teams have been carrying out high visibility patrols in the area where warrants have been carried out, working to reassure those residents, handing out leaflets and providing information and support.”