Crack­down is lat­est in fight against drugs


OP­ER­A­TION Alzira is the lat­est in a long line of police op­er­a­tions to tackle the sup­ply of drugs in Mac­cles­field.

It used un­der­cover police of­fi­cers who car­ried out test pur­chases with deal­ers, as well as in­ten­sive sur­veil­lance and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions anal­y­sis to map a num­ber of crim­i­nal gangs bring­ing drugs from Liver­pool and Manch­ester into Mac­cles­field and their hi­er­ar­chies.

Police have been try­ing to tackle that sup­ply route for many years with im­pres­sive re­sults. But to their frus­tra­tion it is a per­pet­ual pat­tern: as soon as one crim­i­nal gang is cracked, an­other takes it place.

In 2013 Op­er­a­tion Dizi cul­mi­nated in 70 ar­rests and 28 con­vic­tions to­talling 33 years in prison. Op­er­a­tion Dres­den in 2014 re­sulted in 34 more con­vic­tions to­talling 27 years in prison and around £800,000 worth of drugs taken off the streets.

Then in 2015 a next ‘gen­er­a­tion’ of deal­ers found new ways of ped­alling nar­cotics by run­ning mo­bile op­er­a­tions from cars. This was cracked by Op­er­a­tion Toad­stool us­ing the East­ern Area Crime Car team to in­ter­cept them.

Alzira was a year-long op­er­a­tion which con­cluded last Septem­ber when 200 police of­fi­cers launched a se­ries of raids at ad­dresses in Mac­cles­field, and other lo­ca­tions in Cheshire, Manch­ester and Liver­pool. It re­sulted in 20 ar­rests, in­clud­ing Thomas Flan­gan and his gang.

Work con­tin­ues to crack the crim­i­nal gangs still op­er­at­ing in the town.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Gavin Day said: “Our work does not end here and the war on il­le­gal drugs will con­tinue. I want to re­as­sure res­i­dents that we will con­tinue to iden­tify, lo­cate and dis­rupt those in­volved in this sort of ac­tiv­ity.

“We can only do this with the con­tin­ued sup­port of lo­cal peo­ple. In­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic is vi­tal in our fight against drug-re­lated crime and can make a big dif­fer­ence.

“I would urge any­one with any in­for­ma­tion about drug re­lated ac­tiv­ity in their area to come for­ward.

“You can speak to a lo­cal neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cer, call police on 101 or Crimestop­pers, anony­mously, on 0800 555 111.”

●● Police raid a home as part of Op­er­a­tion Alzira

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