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Police issue warning after series of dawn drug raids in Exeter

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

  • Police carrying out a drug raid in Exeter

  • Police carrying out a drug raid in Exeter

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A SERIES of high profile drugs raids have been carried out by police across Exeter.

Police teamed up with members of the National Crime Agency for the first time to execute three warrants simultaneously at 6am across the city on Tuesday.

They took place at addresses in Heavitree, Pennsylvania and the city centre.

Two men were subsequently arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act on suspicion of the production and supply of Class B drugs.

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The men, aged 44 and 51, have both been bailed until May. Samurai swords were also found at one of the properties.

The Echo accompanied officers on the raids, which were carried out under the banner Operation Assist, a new partnership between officers in Exeter and those from the NCA.

At one of the addresses in Heavitree a quantity of suspected cannabis was discovered along with evidence of previous cultivation of the drug.

Two further warrants were executed later in the day in Exwick, where a seizure of suspected class B drugs, cash and phones were found.

Further arrests were executed for fraud offences involving searches at three locations in east Devon.

A 67-year-old man and 64-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of fraud and have been released on police bail until April, 28.

The day of action involved around 60 officers and staff, with 30 each from the police and NCA. This is the first time the two organisations have worked together but it won’t be the last.

Detective Inspector Grant Leitch said: “I want this to be a repeated pattern every few months. Criminals need to know we are in pursuit of them and there is no-where they can be that we can not reach them.

“It is essential that criminals know we grip their underworld and are in control of it. We will relentlessly pursue them wherever they are and they should see this as a warning.”

Lisa Williams, NCA manager, added: “This is very much about the NCA working more in partnership with the police.

“It has been a successful operation that has made a positive impact on communities in Exeter. Drugs are very evasive in the community and we want to make sure everything is being done to stop it.”

These include patrol officers and police community support officers to reassure the public, proactive teams to gain entry and detectives to carry out the ongoing investigation.

The warrants were executed as a result of lengthy intelligence gathering by police into the supply of drugs in the area.

Following the raids members of the neighbourhood policing team leafleted the local area to try and reassure residents.

Exeter sector Inspector Tanya Youngs said: “This sends out a really strong, positive message. We also hope to get further community intelligence from it.”

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  • ElseCares  |  February 26 2014, 6:01PM

    It most likely took months of planning, at great expense to the tax payer, to get 60 police officers together to arrest two men, who were then bailed on the same day for growing a basically harmless weed. Then they put it about as a warning to criminals. Incredible investigative endeavour, outstanding police work. Obviously they have caught the rapists, murderers and pedophiles already and can turn their hands to criminalizing and incarcerating people who are actively propagating a substance that makes people quiet and peckish. It must take them years to write the report at this level of incompetence, maybe a hundred officers are needed. Don't forget the court costs to the tax payer as well. Not to mention that this amazing feet will have absolutely NO impact on the 10 million+ people who smoke weed in this country. Sound warning, good work.

    Rate   7
  • omnivore23  |  February 26 2014, 12:56PM

    ...........not to mention the carnage that takes place every night of the week in our streets and A and E departments caused by alcohol, which the government seems determined to keep available at knock down prices.

    Rate   8
  • omnivore23  |  February 26 2014, 12:55PM

    Indeed - meanwhile quite a few people's deaths have been linked to artificial cannabis which is legally on sale all over the place - and yet we continue to fund organised crime and terrorism and deny the revenue and job opportunities that would be created by a more rational evidence-based approach to drugs.

    Rate   6
  • Moor2River  |  February 26 2014, 12:40PM

    Those photos don't seem to show a great criminal commercial operation, more like someone growing a few plants in their bedroom. Soft, easy targets for the police and not likely to be a major threat to the public. The Real Criminals must love these stories.

    Rate   9
  • omnivore23  |  February 25 2014, 6:05PM

    I'm sure we will all sleep safer in our beds knowing that these 60 and 70-something drug-dealing hoodlums have been apprehended, and that a "quantity" of deadly cannabis is no longer at large. Glad to see taxpayers money being used so wisely. ...........lets all go and get completely legless, attack some innocent passer-by, puke up, then go home and beat our wives up to celebrate!

    Rate   13