Almost £2 million and 800 weapons seized in knife crackdown
Cash totalling almost £2 million and around 800 weapons have been seized as part of an ongoing crackdown on knife crime and associated offences including the supply of drugs.
Between 14 June and 3 December 2019 officers across Kent have arrested 1,441 suspects and made 684 seizures of drugs, including significant supplies of heroin and cocaine. The enforcement follows a commitment earlier this year from Chief Constable of Kent, Alan Pughsley, to tackle a rise in violent crime, which included increasing the number of Taser trained officers for the county.
Superintendent Mick Gardner, of the Tactical Operations Command said: ‘We remain committed to maintaining a robust, proactive and zero tolerance approach to knife crime. There can be never be any justification for anyone to carry a weapon on our streets and we will continue to use both uniformed and plain-clothes officers to maximise opportunities to detect and deter those involved in criminal activity.’
Kent Police works in partnership with other law enforcement agencies such as British Transport Police and neighbouring forces to detect and disrupt those involved in drug and knife offences. Since June, specialist Operation Raptor teams, tasked with tackling and dismantling county lines, have also been involved in the execution of 341 search warrants. Recent arrests have included a 19-year-old man from London who on 2 December was detained at a property in Grove Road, Chatham, in connection with the supply of drugs and robbery. A large hunting style knife and a sword were seized.
In the courts, an Op Raptor investigation which led to the seizure of heroin and crack cocaine from the air vents of a car in Dover, recently saw Croydon county lines dealer Jaisha Williams sentenced to almost eight years in prison.
Supt Gardner added: ‘We are determined to do all we can to keep our communities safe. Much of our work to tackle knife crime is also linked to identifying and arresting suspects from outside the county, who travel into Kent with the sole intention of supplying drugs and to target and exploit vulnerable people. I’m confident we are making it harder and harder for these people to establish a foothold and my message to them is very simple – keep away, or you will be arrested and brought before the courts.’