Drug raid is latest action as 128 members of organised crime groups jailed in Doncaster: Police column

We recently raided a house in Cantley – and seized thousands of pounds worth of drugs, writes Det Ch Insp Paul Wilson.

The operation, on Ewood Drive, on Monday November 5 was one of the latest disruptions that we have carried out under the ongoing crackdown on organised crime here in Doncaster, it took a couple of thousand pounds worth of the most harmful Class A drugs, heroin and cocaine, off the streets.

Police drugs raids like this one, in Gainsborough, have been carried out in Doncaster

Police drugs raids like this one, in Gainsborough, have been carried out in Doncaster

It resulted in an arrest, and someone has been charged and remanded into prison by the courts

This was just the latest raid in a year which has seen us make life very tough for those who are involved in this sort of crime

Dealing with organised crime and helping keep people away from making that sort of criminal lifestyle decision is daily business for us.

And the figures show we are seeing success in that work.

Since January, we have seen 128 members of organised crime groups in Doncaster jailed, and carried out 112 raids after obtaining warrants from magistrates solely in connection with organised crime, we have also seized:

- Six shotguns

- Two pistols

- 30 knives

- Five batons

- Two imitation firearms

- An amount of ammunition

- £150,000 worth of class A drugs

- £50,000 in cash

- 22 vehicles either used in or crime or obtained from criminal activity.

We are making a difference, although we still have work to do. But we can see that we are having an impact on a day to day basis, when we look at measures such as the number of firearms discharged in the borough, and the number of serious assaults, which have fallen.

The impact we are having can also be seen in the number of people involved in organised crime in Doncaster who are now in prison. It is higher than many other police areas because of the enforcement work we have been doing here.

By example, In terms of firearms, it was recently reported that there had been a gun discharged at a house on Old Road, in Conisbrough. That was on October 24, and no one was injured

Since then, two people have been arrested in connection with that incident. One of those was an already-wanted male, who is currently in prison for a different crime. The other remains on bail.

But is is not just arrests that are taking forward the battle against organised crime.

We are also taking steps to prevent vulnerable young people from getting involved.

Under Operation Fortify we are also working with partners to better protect young people from criminal exploitation.

Sometimes children are tricked into working for organised criminal gangs. It might start with presents in return for looking after drugs, but quickly can lead to the gangs saying drugs have been lost or stolen and the child has a ‘debt’ to work off and find themselves becoming even more vulnerable and at risk.

Vulnerable young people need to take real care of themselves not to fall foul of these ‘dysfunctional’ role models who they may see wearing designer clothes and perhaps driving expensive cars. There existence is a very dangerous one and these criminals are at risk from not only the Police but often badly beaten and robbed by other criminals.

This is NOT a glamourous lifestyle choice, the reality is sleepless nights and at 24 hour risk of extreme violence and/or imprisonment.

We are trying to identify young people who may be at such risk, and we are working with partner organisations. We present on topics including exploitation and avoiding gang involvement at schools across the borough.

We are also working with organisations like Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Doncaster Council, and local children’s homes to better support young people make wise choices.

Looking Ahead

We plan to co-locate our officers with staff from some of our key partner organisations to better help prevent people being exploited into a criminal lifestyle.

We have a number of other projects planned under Operation Fortify.

One of those will see us working around the prisons in Doncaster, around prisoners, visitors, and would-be smugglers who may bring drugs and contraband into the jails.

We will be working with HM Prison and Probation Service and the service’s regional tactical support group.

Finally an appeal for witnesses and information.

In the early hours of Tuesday November 6, the Tesco in Hexthorpe was broken into. The ATM cash machine was attacked by three males. who took money. Someone has been arrested and bailed in connection with this, but we are still appealing for information.

Anyone with information, please call us on 101 quoting incident 103 of November 6.