More than 550 people arrested in Middlesbrough last year under Project ADDER
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Cleveland Police has arrested more than 550 people in Middlesbrough over the last 12 months through Project ADDER – an initiative to tackle criminal gangs selling drugs.
In 2023, officers arrested a total of 552 people and made 76 disruptions against organised crime groups halting the flow of drugs across our communities.
A total of 451 weapons including knives and firearms were also taken off the streets of Middlesbrough and there were 1,613 drug seizures including crack and heroin.
Middlesbrough’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and the Force Proactive Team have been at the forefront of tackling criminality linked to drugs and, utilising ADDER funding, have arrested 51 people since February 2023.
A total of 44 years and 11 months of prison sentences have been dished by the courts in that same time period, and there are still 19 people in custody awaiting sentencing.
One of those sentenced was 19-year-old Kai Inico who made off from police in Central Gardens, Middlesbrough, in May 2023.
He was pursued by a plain clothed officer and was seen dropping items which were later recovered including crack cocaine valued at around £2,650 and heroin worth around £870.
Inico was eventually arrested and charged with possession of Class A drugs and he was sentenced to 29 months in prison.
Project ADDER, (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement, Recovery), is funded by the Home Office and the Police and Crime Commissioner and aims to reduce drug deaths whilst also tackling drug supply in Middlesbrough.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner accompanied Project ADDER on two drug warrants in Middlesbrough on Thursday 18th January to see some of the work first-hand.
Following intelligence from the public, warrants were conducted on Burlam Road and Baker Street in Middlesbrough and resulted in the arrest of a 60-year-old woman.
She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply a Class A drug and possession of a Class B drug and was bailed pending further enquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Gez Wraith, who is the force’s lead for ADDER, said: “We have seen some fantastic results thanks to Project ADDER funding through robust enforcement and proactive policing.
“We have disrupted organised crime groups who have been causing the most harm to our communities, brought members before the courts and secured lengthy sentences for those involved.
“Drug dealing and associated crime has a huge impact on communities and I hope these recent results show our commitment to arresting offenders and making Middlesbrough a safer place to be.
“Intelligence from the public is vital. If you suspect drug dealing in your area, please contact us on 101. Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phone on 0800 555 111.”
This year, Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner invested £125,000-worth of funding in Project ADDER to ensure the police enforcement element of ADDER continued.
The PCC’s contribution will be matched by a further £375,000 from the Home Office From April, the PCC’s contribution to Project ADDER will rise to £250,000 – equalling the Home Office’s contribution.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner is the Senior Responsible Officer for Cleveland’s Combatting Drugs Partnership.
He said: “The continued success of Project ADDER justifies my continued support for the project.
“It’s imperative that we get the worst offenders off the street and crack some of the criminal gangs, who are making the lives of many people across Cleveland a misery.”