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Reading: Operation Stetson Drugs Raids
The operation which involved over 100 officers, and relates to individuals who have been supplying drugs in Reading and who have also been operating across County lines.
This was the result of a short, pro-active investigation in the Reading area by Thames Valley Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit as part of our STRONGHOLD campaign which aims to tackle organised crime by working in partnership.
Deputy LPA Commander for Reading borough, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Upton said: “You may have seen a police presence at various locations throughout Reading LPA this morning.
“This was part of an operation to tackle those working to supply and distribute drugs in the area and also individuals who are involved in drugs operations operating across county lines.
“Following on from the operation neighbourhood officers will be in Southampton Street at a community stand, available to speak to members of the public about the operation and there will also be patrols in other areas where warrants have taken place.
“We have worked closely with our partners at Reading Borough Council who will be assisting us to support vulnerable members of the community.”
“We will also be informing members of the public about our continuing campaign Stronghold, which we have been embracing in Reading LPA.
“Stronghold is our commitment to work closely with our partners and the public to achieve better knowledge sharing and suitable resourcing to disrupt and prevent the work of organised crime gangs and provide safeguarding to the innocent victims caught up in the middle.
In the lead up to these warrants, and moving forward we have been working alongside Reading Borough Council and other agencies to offer support to drug users to stop demand for drugs in the LPA, and also working closely to provide safeguarding for any adults who may have been exploited as a result of this criminal activity.
“Additionally we are asking the public to continue to provide information as only with the intelligence they provide can we tackle serious organised crime across Reading and the Thames Valley.
“We would also ask any members of the public who may have information that may assist us in tackling drugs supply and organised crime in Reading to please call 101”.
Councillor Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Dealers fuel illegal drug use and associated crime and anti-social behaviour in the town and they profit from the dependency of their buyers who are often vulnerable, which is why operations such as the one carried out by Thames Valley Police today are so important.
“The Council works closely together with the Police and other partners under the umbrella of Reading’s Community Safety Partnership to keep the community safe. We recognise that people abusing substances need support to help them rebuild their lives. The Council funds and supports a range of agencies to help people to stop using drugs and, where needed, to help them into stable and secure housing.
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