Ipswich: Backlash against suspected London drug gang nets 12


Twelve suspected members of a London drug gang have been arrested after a surge in violence against addicts in Ipswich, police said today.

The backlash against what are believed to be higher level members of the organised group came when Suffolk officers mounted a series of raids on their addresses in the London boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich.

The operation codenamed Kudzu follows another purge on Class A dealers from the capital which took place in late summer last year.

That netted dozens of suspects, many of whom are currently serving prison terms.

However, following the successful crackdown an influx of other London dealers came to Ipswich to fill the void.

Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger said the gang were prepared to use more ruthless methods than their predecessors. As a consequence there was an upturn in serious violent offences against lower level drug users.

Operation Kudzu was set up to target and disrupt the drug gang’s activities.

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Over the course of several months officers gathered intelligence on how the gang worked and targeted individuals in an effort to dismantle their business in Ipswich.

Earlier this year a vehicle heading towards Ipswich was intercepted on the A12 and two men linked to the crime group were arrested.

Subsequently a number of search warrants were carried out in London resulting in more arrests and the seizure of drugs and cash.

In February and March other suspects were detained in Ipswich and London, as well as cash and drugs.

Now this phase is complete the operation is able to be made public for the first time.

Det Insp Bridger said: “We now have 12 London-based individuals on bail having been arrested for a wide range of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in the Ipswich area.

“We have recovered approximately £10,000 in cash and drugs with a street value of £2,000 – about 200 deals in crack cocaine and heroin.

“The upshot of this is since the enforcement activity has taken place there has been a significant drop in the number of violent crimes on people linked to the organised crime group and a significant drop in drug dealing in Ipswich.

“We are definitely continuing to target those involved in trafficking drugs and will be looking to exploit the Proceeds of Crime Act to hit these individuals financially.

“We will also continue to use the full range of overt and covert tactics against criminals and continue with the approach of pursuing them outside Suffolk where it is proportionate to our objectives.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing should telephone police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.