18 are ar­rested in drugs crack­down

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

EIGH­TEEN peo­ple have been ar­rested af­ter an un­der­cover crack­down on the drugs trade in Macclesfield.

Co­caine, heroin, cannabis and cash have all been seized as part of Op­er­a­tion Toad­stool, launched by Cheshire Po­lice to tackle the sup­ply of Class A drugs in the town.

It is the lat­est at­tempt by po­lice to tackle drugs deal­ers com­ing into the town and fol­lows on from Op­er­a­tion Dizi in 2013 and Op­er­a­tion Dres­den in 2014.

Po­lice say this lat­est ‘gen­er­a­tion’ of deal­ers have found new ways of ped­alling nar­cotics by run­ning mo­bile op­er­a­tions from cars.

They be­lieve that deal­ers have given up run­ning their op­er­a­tions from flats and houses in the town fol­low­ing pre­vi­ous crack­downs.

As a re­sult Op­er­a­tion Toad­stool in­volved the Eastern Area Crime Car team aim­ing to in­ter­cept drug deal­ers.

Seven peo­ple were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion with in­tent to sup­ply crack co­caine and heroin, four peo­ple were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion of crack co­caine and heroin, one was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion of cannabis, two peo­ple were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of danger­ous driv­ing, three peo­ple were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion theft, and one on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion of a bladed ar­ti­cle.

Sergeant Simon Degg, who was in charge of Op­er­a­tion Toad­stool, said: “This has had a huge im­pact on drug deal­ing in Macclesfield and caused con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion.

“The aim of the op­er­a­tion was to make the lives of street deal­ers par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult and show the com­mu­nity that we are here. The op­er­a­tion was a plain clothed op­er­a­tion through­out the whole of Macclesfield Town, which was led by in­tel­li­gence pro­vided by the public via their PCSOs, Crimestop­pers and 101 calls.

“This op­er­a­tion will be res­ur­rected in the fu­ture so please con­tinue to call and re­port all sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity or sus­pected drug deal­ing.” Mean­while, po­lice are ap­peal­ing to the public to look out for the signs of cannabis cul­ti­va­tion in their com­mu­nity.

Crim­i­nal gangs grow farms in dis­used com­mer­cial and industrial premises and more fre­quently houses rented from pri­vate land­lords.

Signs of cannabis cul­ti­va­tion in­clude: a strong and sickly sweet smell; light­ing and ven­ti­la­tion equip­ment to grow cannabis be­ing taken into a house; and cov­ered or blocked-off win­dows.

If you see any­thing sus­pi­cious call Cheshire Po­lice on 101.

●● Drugs like th­ese have been seized by plain clothed po­lice of­fi­cers in their ef­forts to try to dis­rupt drug deal­ing in Macclesfield

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