Almost £1.8m of drugs recovered in Bestwood crackdown
Almost £1.8m of drugs have been recovered and 203 people arrested or interviewed under caution over the last year, in a police crackdown operation.
Operation Reacher began in April 2018 in Bestwood and the surrounding area, and has lead to officers recovering more than £300,000 in cash, 23 weapons including eight firearms and seized 337 vehicles during the drive.
During the operation, officers have stopped and searched 282 people, executed 102 warrants and generated 684 pieces of community intelligence by working with Bestwood's community.
The drugs seized include heroin, cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gerard Milano, who has overseen the operation since the beginning, said: "We will not tolerate drugs supply in our communities. The people at the top of these networks seek to make profits from causing misery to hundreds of vulnerable people who live in our neighbourhoods. They enforce their networks often using extreme violence and fear and feed addictions that spread misery, crime and anti-social behaviour like a virus.
"This operation is a clear demonstration that when we work effectively with our communities we can tackle top-end criminality with strength and confidence. When our communities say enough is enough we will be there to listen, protect them and take action.
"Our aim is to be a force for good in the community and by working as a team we can have the biggest impact.
"This has been a sustained period of policing activity involving the broad spectrum of capabilities at our disposal. From the way in which we generate and assess our intelligence, to how we gather the evidence and move on to enforcement the force and its partners have acted with professionalism, tenacity and determination. We have lots of very dedicated officers hungry for this kind of work so I know that we will continue to make a difference.
"The Operation Reacher team has done some fantastic engagement work with the community as part of this, including pop-up stands at local super markets, patch walks with local councillors, walkthroughs at licensed premises and giving local residents regular updates on some of their activity on the Bestwood and Top Valley Police Facebook page, which has seen its followers increase from just over 1,000 to more than 3,000 in less than a year. Additionally the Reacher team also uses Facebook to advertise other community-based activities engaging the younger generation which have included treasure trails, puzzles, conundrums and a recent Christmas card competition including prizes for the chosen winners."
Completed cases include Jordan Needham, aged 26, formerly of Comfrey Close, Bestwood, who was sentenced to five years and eight months in October 2018 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. A Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation order was also granted against him on Monday March 11 with a benefit figure of £27,847. He was told he must pay £7,500 immediately in available assets.
Jamie Carter, aged 44, was arrested on his return from Spain and sentenced to three years in prison for possession with intent to supply cocaine following a search at his home in Wyton Close, Bestwood, in April 2018.
Blake Price, aged 28, of Potters Close Top Valley, was jailed for 28 months in October 2018 for conspiracy to supply cannabis, supplying cannabis, and three offences of possession with intent to supply cannabis. His associate Anthony Starbuck, 42, of Bestwood Park Drive, Bestwood, was also locked up for 12 months for conspiracy to supply cannabis, possession with intent to supply cannabis and common assault.
Detective Sergeant Marcus Oldroyd, of Operation Reacher, said: "I'd like to thank the community for being so supportive of the work we have been doing. We've had a lot of positivity about the results we've had and the impact it is having on people's everyday lives so it is great to hear. From suspected drug dealing activity to tackling the anti-social use of ‘off road’ bikes we want to help and support the local residents make the area a better place to live.
"If people want to find out more about Operation Reacher, please follow the Bestwood and Top Valley Police page on Facebook and please come and have a chat when you see us out and about."
Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "This operation is a major step forward in the work to tackle drug-related crime and shows how communities and the police can work together to successfully solve these problems in our neighbourhoods. Not only has it taken serious criminals off our streets, but members of the public can see that crime doesn’t pay and sends a strong warning to those who believe they can benefit financially from a criminal lifestyle."