Police Press Ahead with Operation Linen

Police carried out a second day of action under Operation Linen today (Tuesday 4th October), targeting suspected class A drug dealers and those believed to be involved in buying and selling counterfeit goods in central Middlesbrough.


The first phase, last Wednesday, saw around 100 officers take part in co-ordinated raids on homes and businesses leading to 20 arrests mainly for alleged drugs offences. 

Colleagues from HMRC and Middlesbrough Council’s Trading Standards Department, Street Warden Teams and Enforcement Teams were also involved in the first day of action, one of the largest the region has seen in recent years.

Today’s activity aimed to find and arrest other suspected criminals and 17 people were arrested predominantly on suspicion of drugs offences.  Others were arrested on suspicion of possession of offensive weapons, for being wanted on warrant and for driving offences.

Suspected drugs and associated paraphernalia, a samurai sword, knuckledusters, knives and even an extendable baton were recovered from the addresses police raided, which were right across Middlesbrough.
Detection dogs - trained to locate drugs, cash and weapons - and Cleveland handlers from the recently established Tri Force Dog Support Unit took part in the day’s activity. 

Cleveland Police’s Legal Services and neighbourhood teams, along with colleagues from Middlesbrough Council will now look to see if they can serve closure orders on any of the addresses, under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Operation Line Phase 2/2

Chief Supt John Lyons who co-ordinated Operation Linen said: “Last week’s day of action was a great success, not only in terms of the number of arrests and suspected drugs taken off the streets of Middlesbrough but in terms of increasing public confidence in Cleveland Police.

“I said at the time that we appreciated there was significant disruption in the area but that tackling those who deal drugs and bring the associated crime and antisocial behaviour on our streets is an absolute priority.

“I also pledged that wherever feasible, if residents give us viable information on who is committing crime or antisocial behaviour in their area, we will take proportionate action.

“Local people came to us with their concerns, complaints and – most importantly – with information, and we have taken decisive action.

“Our actions last week, today, and going forward, demonstrate a clear will and commitment on our behalf to continue to work with our communities to tackle drug dealing.

“The areas targeted under Operation Linen may have thought the end of last Wednesday meant an end to our activity.  Today has shown this is not the case.”

PCC Barry Coppinger, who attended today’s activity, added: “It was gratifying to see the results of the first day of Operation Linen.  Attending many community meetings, I hear again and again complaints about drug dealing, crime, ASB and the misery it causes the law abiding majority of local people.

“I hope Operation Linen reassures residents that we want to continue to work with them to keep crime down and to keep our communities safe.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing can ring Cleveland Police’s confidential drugs line on 0800 0929702 or information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phoning 0800 555 111.