Teenage youths arrested in police drugs raid

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 September 2011

Archant

TWO teenagers were arrested in a drugs raid last weekend, during a day which was hailed a success by Avon and Somerset police in its Operation Relentless project.

A misuse of drugs warrant was executed at a home in Axbridge and a 16-year-old boy was arrested on Friday night. This was on suspicion of production of cannabis, after officers found 30 plants, two lighting units and a cultivation tent, which was seized.

A 17-year-old boy was also arrested for possession with intent to supply cannabis after officers found approximately £1,000 of cannabis, bags, cash and scales.

Sergeant Ian Kennett said: “As far as I am concerned dealing with drug dealers is part of our daily business and whenever there is good intelligence about drug dealing we will take positive action to reduce this crime.

“We have made many arrests as a result of community concerns and information about drug dealing and at least three people are on court bail for drug dealing in the Burnham area.”

A team of seven police officers and two police community support officers (PCSOs) from Burnham’s police force were involved in the operation. And more than 20 other arrests were made that day in West Somerset, including possession of drugs, grievous bodily harm and antisocial behaviour.

Operation Relentless was introduced by the Chief Constable five years ago and has been so successful that other police forces are now using it, some as far afield as New Zealand. So far it is responsible for 2,500 arrests.

On Friday night police found eight other people at the property, some who received warnings. Seven officers secured the area and then entered the property, while PCSOs patrolled the area to reassure the community and answer any questions on the operation.

PCSO Susan Venn-Adams said: “It’s a shock to the residents’ system if a few police cars enter the area, as it has the potential to cause a lot of panic, so it’s our job to provide that reassurance.

“It’s our way of helping, but not getting into the thick of it.”

Three of the officers were volunteers and Sgt Ian Kennet said it simply would not have been possible to carry out the raid without such a work force.

He said: “There is an assumption with the public that we can just enter a property, arrest people, and it’s done, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.

“We want to reduce the community’s fear by taking positive action, and we also do that by talking to them and letting them know everything is ok.”

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