Police in Preston have locked down two city estates and carried out a number of drugs raids to target organised crime groups.
In an operation codenamed Mercury, for the past 72 hours police in Preston have flooded the area with officers and have raided a number of properties on the Callon and Fishwick estates to clamp down on drug dealing activity.
The intensive police operation took place in areas where suspected violent crime and drug offenders are known to either live, visit or operate and send out a clear message that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.
There were over 80 police officers involved in the operation which ends tonight and neighbourhood policing officers are still in the area talking to local residents. The force’s Mounted Branch has visited local schools to talk to the children and show them the horses.
Raids were carried out on a number of addresses and so far 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including the supply of drugs, possession of drugs, burglary and robbery.
Chief Inspector June Chessell from Preston Police said: “There have been two main aims of our operation. Firstly, to target those criminals who blight our communities with this sort of activity and secondly, to show the community in Preston that we are working to keep them safe and that we are determined to rid them of drug related activity in their areas.
“We will continue to use these tactics and anyone we suspect of being involved in criminal activity can expect severe disruption – we are using every tactic at our disposal to outwit criminals.
“The operation has also given us the opportunity to be out in the heart of the community and we have spoken to thousands of people. The feedback we have had from local residents has been excellent and they are clearly pleased to see us taking action.
“If anyone has concerns about crime in their area or information about who is committing crime then we want to know about it. We are determined to spoil Christmas for criminals in Preston. The reason we have been able to run this operation is down to information from the public and it is important that they keep coming forward to assist us.
“If you have concerns about crime in your area or want to speak to your neighbourhood policing team, you can contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”