Warrants, wanted people and warnings. These were the focus of the first week of Operation Phoenix 2020, a summer long operation to improve public service, prioritise vulnerability, tackle serious violence and prevent crime.
The campaign launched last Tuesday, 7th July, with suspected Class B and prescription drugs being recovered in a warranted raid in Middlesbrough and during pro-active patrols in Stockton and Thornaby.
A vulnerable, exploited teenage boy was discovered in the address targeted in Kelvin Grove in Middlesbrough and he is now being safeguarded. Three people were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs in Thornaby.
And youngsters at primary schools across the force area are receiving a presentation from Schools Liaison Officers on what antisocial behaviour (ASB) is - and how to avoid - playing safely and reducing riskas the school summer holidays approach. Every school within Cleveland has also received ASB leaflets so the information can be passed down to children, young people, their parents and carers.
In keeping with the operation’s key theme of protecting those most vulnerable in our communities, we are focussing our efforts on tackling domestic abuse and supporting victims. As part of our campaign we are proactively promoting and prioritising applications from people applying for information under Clare’s Law – a scheme which allows police to disclose information on request about a partner's previous history of Domestic Abuse or violent acts.
Up to two dozen requests are being processed daily, with specialist officers working tirelessly to provide an efficient and swift service to concerned applicants.
Stop searches, sex offender management and searching for outstanding suspects are taking place every day. In addition to our regular patrols we also have a number of officers deployed in plain clothes searching for suspects who have outstanding warrants or are wanted for offences, breach of bail or for return to prison.
Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin said: “Operation Phoenix 2020 is us [Cleveland Police] doing what we do every day but with additional resources including officers and improved systems.
“Our absolute priority is to protect and safeguard our communities, specifically those who are most at risk from harm. We will be proactively be targeting those who are intent on committing serious and violent crimes across Cleveland and will utilise everything at our disposal to bring offenders to justice. Our newly reformed Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be working closely with our partners, focusing on crime prevention and longer-term sustainable problem solving in order to reduce the risk of repeat victimisation and offending.
“Officers across Cleveland have been working incredibly hard and we have already seen some excellent results in week 1 of Operation Phoenix 2020.
“With a schedule of activity throughout the summer, we will be actively targeting organised crime, violence, drug dealing and have various special operations planned to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
“Our message is clear - crime and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated and we will continue to actively pursue those who are intent on harming and wreaking fear in our communities. You can follow our progress on Twitter @Clevelandpolice #OpPhoenix2020
“We remain committed to making our communities safe but recognise that we cannot do this alone. I would encourage anyone with information to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 – because working together, I believe we can make a significant difference. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for all their hard work so far.”