Police arrest man carrying crossbow: Police column
You may have seen a larger police presence than usual in Mexborough, Denaby and Conisbrough over the last few weeks, writes Insp Adrian Luscombe
That is because we are running what we have called Operation Drum Alpha – a major push to deal with organised crime in those areas.
It is all about organised criminality across those areas, and the activity has been targeting that.
There has been intelligence led enforcement involving warrants to search properties, but the bulk of what we have been doing has been boots on the ground, high visibility patrols to disrupt criminal activity.
We started this operation after the Easter weekend, and we are still continuing. In the first couple of weeks we have made 21 arrests, carried out 75 stop and searches, seized seven vehicles and carried out five drugs warrants.
We have also had a road traffic operation, which has seen us out with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to take action on unroadworthy cars and drivers with no insurance.
There have been some high profile arrests and raids.
Tuesday April 30 saw us arrest a man who we found carrying a crossbow and a knife. We saw him with it as he rode his bike on York Street.
The previous day we had arrested someone for possessing a knuckleduster and cannabis.
On the Wednesday, we had seen a vehicle stopped and searched on Schofield Street. We found several wraps of white powder, resulting in an arrest for possession of drugs with intent to supply.
We also stopped a vehicle on White Lea Road. It was uninsured and the driver was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.
A warrant on Morton Road ended with two people being arrested for cannabis cultivation after equipment was found in the loft. Six plants were found.
We also saw an arrest on York Street after a warrant, for possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and a man elsewhere in Mexborough arrested for possession of a large kitchen knife and shoplifting.
And a man who had been wanted for assault was arrested on Washington Avenue, Conisbrough, and also charged with possession of cannabis with intent to supply.
The operation has also tried to do work on the softer side of policing. We have officers in the community giving crime prevention advice, and we have been trying to encourage people to report crime.
One of the problems we have is a reluctance among some people to report crime because they are fearful of repercussions.
We are trying to encourage people to call Crimestoppers, an independent charity that gives people the power to speak up to stop crime 100 per cent anonymously.
We are going to be campaigning to make people more aware that they can call Crimestoppers. There will be people who know about criminal activity in the area who could tell us about it by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
We want to encourage them to call that number knowing that they can do it anonymously, knowing that we will take it seriously.
We have been really pleased with the results we have seen. We have been putting resources in every day, and seeing results every day. Every stop and search disrupts organised crime.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and impact work is continuing. But after that is finished, my team will still be working in the community doing problem solving work.
We have had a lot of positive feedback from the community, and I feel people are cautiously optimistic. I want to assure people that his will be sustained for quite a while and ongoing.