Police make 24 arrests on second day of raids

A SECOND wave of raids aimed at netting dozens of thieves in the Ipswich area has led to 24 further arrests today.

A SECOND wave of raids aimed at netting dozens of thieves in the Ipswich area has led 24 further arrests today.

It takes the total number of suspects taken into custody over two days to 66.

Twenty people were due to appear in a specially-convened court in Ipswich today after being among 42 people arrested yesterday.

A former Ipswich police detective constable, Stephen Rowland, of Norbury Road, Ipswich, was one of the suspects who were charged.

The 43-year-old is accused of supplying 123 grams of cocaine and appeared before Colchester magistrates today.

He was remanded in custody until his next hearing which is scheduled for Chelmsford Crown Court on August 24.

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Four other men were also charged with a range of firearms and drugs offences in connection with Rowland's case.

Meanwhile, this morning around 150 officers were sent out again to carry out another series of swoops on up to 20 premises in Ipswich.

Superintendent Alan Caton, one of the senior officers behind the unprecedented operation, said he was delighted with how it has gone so far.

More than 250 officers pounced at around 30 properties yesterday, including one in Felixstowe.

The raids, targeting burglars, vehicle criminals and those handling stolen goods, involved nearly 20 per cent of the county's 1,300-strong force.

As part of the operation, police swooped on individual properties in Burrell Road, Britannia Road, Downside Close, Shakespeare Road, Partridge Road and Henniker Road.

Supt Caton said: “I have been really pleased with how the operation has gone. We have had a really successful day.

“More than 40 people have been arrested, all on suspicion of crimes that have had a big impact on our communities.

“Hopefully the community will see we are taking their concerns seriously and they can have confidence in their police force.

“The costs to society of these particular types of offences are significant. They impact on people's everyday lives and really impact on people's feeling of safety within the community they live and work.

“In particular, burglary victims are often left coping with, not only the loss of property, but also the psychological trauma of knowing that someone has unlawfully entered and searched their home and personal effects.”

More than 1,000 items of property have already been seized during the 12-month inquiry. The majority are electrical goods such as MP3 players, satellite navigation systems, mobile phones, laptops and computers.

Police staff have been cataloguing the exhibits, which also include a hedge trimmer, hair straighteners and electrical tools.

n. What do you think of the raids? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or have your say at www.eveningstar.co.uk