Kilo of drugs seized as longer term police operation launched in Doncaster village: Police column

Last week saw the start of a major new operation to stop antisocial behaviour and criminality in Edlington, writes Insp Adrian Luscombe.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 10:11 am

And in the first week of Operation Heart Alpha, officers seized drugs from a property on the Royal Estate.

The new operation is going to be similar to the long term operation we have been running in Mexborough, which has been known as Drum Alpha and has been working to deal with organised crime and antisocial behaviour.

It will be looking at enforcement and arrests, as well as winning over hearts and minds, so that people feel confident and giving us information, and so that young people do not want to get involved with any organised criminals or antisocial behaviour.

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Michelle Hudson on police horse Treeton, and Julie Bradshaw on police horse Cubley, in Edlington, on a previous day of action

The first week saw us carry out raid with a warrant at a house on Victoria Road, on the Royal estate. That was on Wednesday September 25.

As a result of that raid, an arrest was made, and 1kg of a suspected controlled drug, thought most likely to be spice, was seized. That has now been sent away for tests.

The previous day we had a police presence in the village, with officers on horseback from our mounted section patrolling the village.

That is going to be the flavour of things to come. We will have teams of officers from the district as well as other teams, including the off road bikes team, in the area.

Like has been happening in Mexborough, it is about organised criminality and youth antisocial behaviour in Edilngton as a whole, and on the Royal estate.

There has already been a lot of work done on these issues, but the problems have reared their heads again. For us, this is about winning back the streets for the public once and for all. It is not just about arrests, it is also about making sure that the public are with us.

Meanwhile, Drum Alpha is still continuing in Mexborough.

Last week we ran a joint operation with HM Revenue and Customs, along the main road between Denaby and Mexborough, as well as supporting them in looking for illegal cigarettes in shops.

It saw five people dealt with for motoring offences, as well as several stop and searches, with useful intelligence gained about members of gangs.

And a couple of shops were found to be in breach of tobacco sales laws. HMRC are following up on those.

Two weeks ago, again under Operation Drum Alpha, a vehicle was stopped in Conisbrough and bags of a white powder were seized, along with £1,300 in cash. A house search was carried out as a result of that, and more drugs were found.

We have also been doing work in the north of the Doncaster West neighbourhood, on the Highfields Estate.

A joint week of action was held along with Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes there, because we get complaints of organised criminality and antisocial behaviour, but those reports are only sporadic.

We are working to increase our visibility and to encourage reporting. Letters were dropped through 418 letterboxes, and we spoke to 147 people on their doorsteps.

While we were there, people also handed in 19 knives under the knife amnesty, and 40 tonnes of rubbish was cleared up by St Leger Homes using skips. And on top of that, an off road motorcycle was seized.

We have now also set up fortnightly drop-ins at Woodlands Library for people to speak to us. They will run every second Tuesday from 10am until 12noon, with the next one on October 15.

The main test of the success of what we have been doing in Highfields will be if there is an increase in reporting in the area. Then we can come back and carry out enforcement action.

Last week also saw the re-opening of the skate park which had been opened up next to Woodlands library.

It had been closed shortly after it initially opened due to antisocial behaviour.

Since then we have had talks with the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust about how we can work together to reduce the problem, and it is looking better. They have plans in place. The skate park is really useful community asset and we want it to be used by youngsters for skating, not for antisocial behaviour, and our neighbourhood officers will be working with the trust to make sure it is used properly.