Op Phoenix day of action focuses on weapons from overseas
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Two suspected stun guns, a quantity of Class A drugs and a haul of knives have all been seized as part of Operation Phoenix.
In a day of action officers dealt with individuals found to have imported dangerous items including knives, suspected firearms and drugs into our area.
The items had all been ordered from overseas through the post and by working in partnership with other agencies Cleveland Police has ensured they do not reach our streets.
Operation Phoenix is our summer-long campaign to improve public service, prioritise vulnerability, tackle serious violence and prevent crime.
A 29-year-old Hartlepool man was arrested on suspicion of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968, which relates to purchasing a suspected stun gun. He was released under investigation while enquiries continue.
In Middlesbrough a 37-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of a section 5 offence, again in relation to a suspected stun gun. He was released under investigation while enquiries continue.
In Stockton a 34-year-old woman was found to have ordered around 3g of cocaine over the internet. The drugs were intercepted so never reached her. She admitted to her actions and has been dealt with through an out of court restorative justice process.
A large number of knives were also intercepted and those who had purchased them dealt with during the day of action.
Detective Sergeant James Allen who led the activity said: “A variety of flick knives, lock knives and specialist blades had been ordered online, from overseas, by people living in our Force area.
“It is illegal to import these items. Thanks to partnership work with other agencies these items were intercepted before they reached our Force area.
“I want to remind people that just because you can see these items online on international sites it does not mean they are legal to purchase and bring into the UK.
“The likely outcome of ordering these items is that you won’t receive your goods, you won’t receive a refund but you may receive a visit from the police.
“Simply looking at these items it’s clear the damage they could do in the wrong hands and we have to investigate if these purchases were linked to criminality.
“We had a successful day educating many individuals.”
In total seven individuals were dealt with out of court for importing knives, this included being hand delivered a legal warning about their activities and restorative justice:
- In Billingham a 28-year-old man was sent a warning letter for ordering a ‘butterfly knife’ and a 22-year-old man admitted ordering a ‘karambit’ knife and he was dealt with through the restorative justice process
- In Stockton a 53-year-old man was found to have ordered three flick knives and was sent a warning letter
- A 59-year-old Middlesbrough man received a letter for ordering a flick knife
- In Hartlepool a 34-year-old man received a warning letter for importing a lock knife and two further men, aged 56 and 57 were found to have imported flick knives, made full admissions and were dealt with through the out of court restorative justice process.