New team disrupts crime and protects the vulnerable with almost 300 arrests
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A team of detectives set up to run operations investigating drug lines and protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our society has made almost 300 arrests.
Staffordshire Police’s Disruption Team (South) has made 290 arrests and secured dozens of convictions since it was set up in June 2019.
The team, led by Detective Inspector Tim Boulton, focuses on disrupting criminal activity in the county and protecting those people who are being exploited by criminal organisations and individuals.
They gather intelligence and carry out stop/searches and pre-planned operations including targeting offenders who are causing the most harm or impact in Staffordshire, and prioritising operations in response to emerging local trends or threats.
The detectives also use their specialist experience to work with vulnerable members of society engaged in crime. This may involve investigations into child sexual exploitation, cyber-crime, counter-terrorism, modern day slavery and County Lines.
This month the team’s work has led to further arrests and charges, and jail terms for Andrew Springall of Uttoxeter (five years for possession with intent to supply cocaine) and Hassan Amer (two years) for possession with intent to supply cannabis.
Last month, Lyndon Sadler, 18, was jailed after pleading guilty to drugs offences and possessing weapons, including a crossbow and stun gun. Sadler, of Kettlebrook Road, was sentenced to seven years at a Young Offenders’ Institution.
Also in November, Raymond Germaine, 31, of Northfields, Birmingham, and Daniel Hepple, aged 39, of Amington, Tamworth, were jailed for four years two months and two years for drugs offences.
Mohammed Hassan, of Bromford Road, Birmingham, was jailed for four years six months at Stafford Crown Court after pleading guilty to supplying crack cocaine in Tamworth.
In June the team’s work led to the conviction of Andrew Wortley, 45, of Main Street, Stapenhill, who was sentenced to seven years at Stafford Crown Court having been found guilty of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and possession of criminal property.
Disrupting County Lines is a vital part of the team’s work. This is where groups of young men from an urban area move into smaller towns to distribute crack cocaine or heroin. In Staffordshire there are County Lines into our towns from Birmingham, Derby, the Black Country and Liverpool.
Groups use vulnerable young people, often aged 14 to 24, to traffic the drugs after deals are agreed remotely through a mobile or ‘line.’
The young people involved may be coerced into this activity through debt, drugs use, grooming, threats or violence. Typical risk factors for those involved are mental health problems, drug use, debt, being known to the care system, and being prone to missing episodes.
In September the team worked on a week-long targeted operation where twenty eight arrests were made and eight people safeguarded.
Detective Inspector Tim Boulton, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We are focusing on protecting the vulnerable in our communities and dealing with offenders.
“We’re working hard to tackle this challenge by disrupting those who would deal drugs in our communities. We will arrest and charge those dealing drugs but look to safeguard the young and vulnerable who may be pressured into this type of activity.”
DI Boulton said the team was grateful for any information the public could supply.
“We rely on good intelligence to plan and execute our operations as we work to limit the supply of drugs into our county and stop those who spread misery, debt and violence.”
“We’ve had a very busy year as, despite the impact of the Covid19 lockdown, drug supply and modern day slavery activity sadly continues.”
To report crime or drug dealing in your community please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or via social media, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.