Ipswich: 30 arrested in major blitz on suspected drug dealers
A LARGE-scale police operation targeting Class A drug dealing in Ipswich has led to the arrest of 30 suspects in a week-long blitz.
Due to operational sensitivities nearly 20 raids carried out by officers were not able to be revealed until today.
Police swooped on a total of 16 premises in the town throughout last week. Two properties in London were also targeted.
The blitz was the largest of its kind in the county for at least two years, and was overseen by Suffolk Constabulary’s serious and organised crime squad.
Detectives have said they were focusing on alleged drug runners from London working from bases in Ipswich, along with local people who were said to be assisting them.
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Officers raided several flats and other premises in neighbourhoods across the town during the operation code-named Muzzle.
The operation began last Monday with early-morning briefings for squads of officers at Ipswich police station.
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One of the first raids took place around 8.15am the same day at a ground-floor flat in Maidenhall Approach, followed by another in Kenyon Street, and other locations in the town.
Around 30 plain-clothed and uniformed officers were involved in the operation.
The raids were the culmination of several months of planning.
Sixteen of the 30 people arrested have been charged. Nine others have been released on bail pending further enquiries, while four will have no further action taken against them.
One person received a police caution for a cannabis offence.
Detective chief inspector Steve Mattin, who led Operation Muzzle, said: “This is an intelligence-led police operation targeting those individuals we believe are dealing, or have been dealing, in Class A drugs.
“What we are trying to do is to make Ipswich a hostile environment for those individuals involved in drugs to operate in.
“This is an intensive operation conducted by officers from across the force, led by the Serious and Organised Crime Directorate.
“Our aim is to restrict the supply of drugs and disrupt organised networks operating around Class A drugs.
“This has been a protracted investigation which is centred in Suffolk, but with links to London.
“The operation is not only about sending a message out to those who deal in drugs, but also underpinning residents’ confidence in police, as well as offering reassurance to those living in the community.”
Det Ch Insp Mattin also warned any successful prosecutions relating to Operation Muzzle will be followed by proceeds of crime hearings in which an offender’s assets will be seized so they do not profit financially from their crimes.