Operation Drive – Cumbria Police Seize £50K Worth Of Drugs And Make 20 Arrests During Week-Long Action

Cumbria Police arrested 20 people after the week-long ‘Operation Driver’.

Police in north Cumbria carried out a number of raids and seized drugs with a street value of more than £50,000 as they addressed community concerns during a week of action, between Monday March 8 and Sunday March 14.

Officers were deployed to do what police in Cumbria do all-year-round – keep people safe, catch suspects and deter and tackle crime.

But extra emphasis was placed on violent crime and drugs offences as teams of uniformed officers, detectives and staff from across north Cumbria combined to send a strong message to criminals.

‘Operation Driver’ was launched to tackle violent offending and drugs crime.

Cumbria Police during their raids

It started dramatically on the Monday when a 25-year-old man was arrested in Belah after a stop search.

Following this, officers conducted a warrant on Briar Bank and seized cocaine, cannabis, a machete and a lock knife.

The total value of the drugs in this part of the operation is estimated to be worth about £52,000.

As well as executing drugs warrants and targeting suspected criminals, officers engaged door-to-door with residents in parts of Carlisle to listen to any concerns and offer crime-busting advice in a Streetsafe operation.

Penrith neighbourhood policing team also conducted high visibility reassurance patrols in the town centre, alongside further pro-active patrolling of problem areas identified though community intelligence.

Chief Inspector Richard Quinn said: “Our officers work round-the-clock for the community taking part in this type of action all-year-round

“What this week of action has done is highlight this work and send out a clear warning message to criminals: We are no soft touch.”

Other results from the operation included:

  • Three men arrested following a suspected fail-to-stop collision
  • A man, 22, arrested on Engine Lonning, Carlisle, on suspicion of possession of a bladed article
  • A man, 22, arrested on suspicion of burglary
  • Another man, 23, arrested in connection with a burglary
  • A man, 23, arrested in Bower Street, Carlisle, on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply
  • A 16-year-old boy arrested in Marks Avenue, Carlisle, on suspicion of violent offences
  • Three people – two women, 37 and 48, and a man, 42 – arrested in Levens Drive, Carlisle on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled substance
  • Three arrests made in connection with reported assaults
  • Items seized for ongoing investigation following a warrant executed in Cant Crescent, Carlisle
  • A man arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon in the form of a baseball bat
  • A man arrested on suspicion of burglary
  • A man arrested on suspicion of malicious communications
  • A man arrested on suspicion of harassment and criminal damage
  • Two men, 30 and 24, arrested in Kingstown, Carlisle, on suspicion of theft and possession of a bladed article.

A Streetsafe initiative was conducted in the Morton and Raffles areas of Carlisle with assistance from the Special Constabulary.

Officers engaged with residents, listened to their concerns and offered crime-prevention advice.

A number of questionnaires were also distributed with pre-paid envelopes to return to their neighbourhood policing team.

Information is used by police and partners to help decide ongoing patrol strategies and engagement work.

Chief Inspector Quinn added: “North Cumbria remains a safe place to live and visit.

“But the results of this operation should send a message out to those in our communities in north Cumbria who do think violence is acceptable – or are choosing to supply drugs as a way of making money.

“We will not tolerate violence of any kind and work every day to prevent and detect such offences and safeguard those at risk.

“Similarly, we have had major successes in recent years in tackling drugs trafficking and supply, with long sentences handed out at court.

“We will continue to target those who make money by blighting lives in our communities.

“The results of this operation should offer reassurance to our communities that we take their concerns seriously and continue to work round-the-clock to tackle such problems throughout the pandemic.

“As always, the information provided by people in the community is crucial to helping our officers putting in the many hours of dedicated work across departments in north Cumbria.

“These arrests demonstrate we will act and seek to bring those responsible for criminality to justice.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “The police are, of course, dealing with crime and criminals all year round but these concentrated weeks of action focus on particular local issues raised by residents to bring perpetrators to justice.

“The results speak for themselves and should remind those who think that they are above the law, can deal in drugs, commit other crimes or generally abuse their neighbours that they will be dealt with using the full force of the law and I am grateful for this robust response; there is no acceptable level of anti-social behaviour and absolutely no excuse for dealing drugs.

“We do now have more officers in our communities but we still have a part to play in giving information of issues in our neighbourhoods to the police so that they can act on our behalf. We all have a role in keeping our communities safe for all.

“This week of action has been a huge success and I congratulate everyone involved. Money seized in this operation will be placed into the Property Fund which is used to support local community projects focussed on making our communities even safer.”

More information on the property fund can be found on the PCC website Property Fund – Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (cumbria-pcc.gov.uk).

Can you help police with information? Call 101 or report online at cumbria.police.uk.
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, on 0800 555 111.