Almost 400 people arrested during police crackdown on crime

STAFFORDSHIRE Police have made 393 arrests and seized 325 cars during Operation Lightning and Operation Disrupt, and activity targeting County Lines drug dealing.

Operation Lightning was set up to tackle criminals using the road network and to prevent increases in the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. It ran for three weeks until September 20.

Operation Disrupt – a policing operation devised to disrupt criminal activity in Staffordshire – ran for a further three weeks until yesterday (October 11).

Twenty eight arrests were made and 23 people safeguarded in a County Lines operation last month tackling drug ‘lines’ into Staffordshire.

During Op Lightning and Disrupt, officers made 123 arrests for driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

In total, officers have made 393 arrests, completed 148 stop/searches, and dealt with 1,184 driving offences with 325 vehicles seized.

During the six weeks 2,193 cars were stopped by officers.

Fifty-nine arrests were made for suspected possession of drugs offences and 82 for suspected drug supply offences.

Chief Superintendent Elliott Sharrard-Williams, Head of the Operational Support Directorate and Gold Commander for both Operations said: “These operations have made a huge impact across Staffordshire.

“We’ve made hundreds of arrests and seized hundreds of cars, as well as drugs, cash, weapons and suspected stolen property. We’ve cracked down on offending right across Staffordshire with all of our neighbourhood policing teams involved. “I’m particularly pleased we have used a range of tactics and used specialist teams, such as dogs and road policing, to make a positive difference to our communities and bring suspected offenders before the courts.”

Chief Superintendent Sharrard-Williams added that the work was set to continue.

He said: “We’ll be building on these results and continuing to target offending across Staffordshire, including anti-social behaviour and road crime.”

Operation Lightning, which ran at locations across the county and concluded in Tamworth, involved high-visibility patrols, unmarked patrols, covert patrols and drones, motorcycles equipped with speed detection and video recording equipment and mobile safety camera vans. A fixed-wing aeroplane also took to the skies above Stoke-on-Trent. The operation included a focus on the ‘fatal four’ motoring offences that are major causes of death and serious injury on the roads - speeding, mobile phone use, drink and drug use and not wearing a seatbelt.

Operation Disrupt ran across Staffordshire and targeted criminality with stops of vehicles, stop/searches, warrants and raids, including a focus on individuals wanted by the courts and police and seizure of drugs, cash and suspected stolen property.


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