North East Forces See Further Arrests as Part of Operation Venetic
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Police have warned time is running out for the region’s organised crime network as a further set of dawn raids sees a further three arrests and £20,000 cash seized.
Yesterday (August 6) a string of warrants were executed at addresses across Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool as the nation’s biggest crackdown on serious and organised crime – Operation Venetic continued.
So far the coordinated activity which has been going on across Europe has seen almost 60 people arrested and more than 80kg seized across the North East region.
And the net continues to tighten – a further three men aged 32, 33 and 35 were arrested by officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) who joined forces with Neighbourhood Policing Teams from Northumbria and Cleveland Police to execute warrants at properties on Bishop Rock Drive and Pennine Way in Newcastle, Abingdon Road and Gresham Road in Middlesbrough - a further search was carried out on Iber Grove, Hartlepool. A total of £20,000 of suspected criminal cash was also seized.
Acting Detective Inspector Wayne Barrigan from NERSOU said: “This activity is part of our ongoing commitment to tackling serious and organised crime in all its forms.
“I want to assure the public that we will be relentless in our pursuit of those involved in organised crime and we will continue to work together with the three North East police forces of Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland to stop this type of criminality, and keep our communities safe.”
The three males were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and have since been released on police bail.
Nationally – the clampdown on organised criminality continues with forces across the country still carrying out coordinated strikes, tactical vehicle stops and raids as part of Operation Venetic.
Coordinated by the NCA, Op Venetic had been months in the planning after European Law enforcement gained access to an encrypted means of criminal communication, allowing them to track devices and share information with police forces across the continent.
Since March, the North East has seen more than £1.5 million cash seized as well as 80kg of cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA and Ketamine and a range of cars seized. The arrest total now stands at 56.
If you see something suspicious, or have any information which can help in the fight against serious and organised crime, you can report it to us using the Tell us Something page on our website or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 55 111.