LATEST: Police visit schools as part of anti-drugs Operation Witch

Police have spoken to students and teachers at Daventry’s two secondary schools in the on-going part of Operation Witch, which saw officers out in force on Saturday in the town to tackle drugs.

Police are reporting ongoing success for Operation Witch since drugs raids in Daventry at the weekend, and have a released a hard-hitting video to continue to raise awareness.

Drugs raid, Daventry

Drugs raid, Daventry

Sergeant Sam Dobbs, who headed up the operation, said: “Since the launch of Op Witch on Saturday morning, we’ve spoken at assemblies at The Parker E-ACT Academy on Monday and Tuesday, and to all 900 teachers and students at The DSLV Academy this morning.

“The general response has been phenomenal - we’ve already received valuable intelligence from people as a result of the operation, about suspicious activity which could lead us to both dealers and cannabis factories.”

“Getting the message out there is vital - both to make people aware of the damage that drugs cause and to notice suspicious activity, report it to us so that we can continue to crack down on those that supply them.

“We’ve also launched a hard-hitting video today, showing the raids on Saturday and explaining why, and what, we are doing to prevent young people and their families being affected by drugs. The aim of the video is to further raise awareness via the web and social networking.

“I’d also like to extend a Hugh thank-you to the media - BBC Look East, BBC Radio Northampton, The Northampton Chronicle and Echo and The Daventry Express have all covered the operation, reaching all their viewers, listeners and readers.”

He concluded: “Cannabis is not acceptable in our society. Here in Daventry we have seen young people’s lives seriously affected. Some of them and and their families have even turned to crime as a result of debts to dealers. That is not acceptable and we will continue to eradicate it.”

On Saturday around 70 uniformed officers gathered at the Parker E-Act Academy in Ashby Road for their briefing before heading out to 10 addresses in the town to execute warrants under the misuse of drugs act.

Officially known as ‘Operation Witch’ the operation was designed to disrupt drug, specifically cannabis, trade in the town which was targeting young people. Many of the police involved were either volunteer special constables, or officers that had volunteered their time as extra.

Following the raids the officers and PCSOs stayed on in Daventry to carry out patrols to hand out information, and talk to residents.

Police have now released the results from the weekend’s operation:

• 20 year old man from Southbrook arrested for breach of court bail and taken to Northampton Magistrates Court

• 19 year old man from Southbrook arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A and Class C drugs with intent to supply

• Man and woman on Southbrook estate arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply

• 17-year-old boy from the Headlands estate to be interviewed next week relation to possession of cannabis seized from his home

• A silver Beretta replica handgun was recovered from one of the Southbrook addresses, with a quantity of white powder

• Steroid injection bottles seized

• More than 1,000 addresses visited in reassurance phase - 750 on Southbrook, 200 on The Grange and 100 elsewhere

• Mobile police station on Tesco’s car park - great feedback from public who were visiting to tell staff that they had seen the operation on news and social media and were fully supportive

• Public have passed us large amounts of information in our questionnaires about drug dealing and other criminality

• Positive and supportive response from local councillors, and a message of support from Chris Heaton-Harris MP