DARKNESS enveloped Burton and winter was at its peak when the biggest policing operation in the town’s history began.
More than 250 members of Staffordshire Police descended during three separate dawn raids in January, February and March in a bid to try to crackdown on drug dealers.
The operation, which took almost a year to plan, saw dozens of addresses across the town raided following undercover work by officers and information and intelligence from the community.
Staffordshire County Council’s safeguarding and district commissioning team joined Trent and Dove, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Burton’s Queen’s Hospital and Molson Coors as part of the operation.
From within the police force, the regional organised crime unit, road policing team, neighbourhood and response teams, enforcement teams and offers from across Staffordshire and the West Midlands were a part of the biggest drugs operation Burton had ever seen.
Police chiefs moved quickly to brand the blitz on drug dealers a ‘complete success’ but their words were backed up by astonishing statistics which showed that as a direct result of the raids all crime in Burton plummeted by an incredible 72 per cent just after the raids.
Latest figures showed that crime was down 50 per cent.
The force revealed that it had also seen an unprecedented rise in the number of calls from members of the public offering information following the raids.
It was also revealed that following the crackdown significant quantities of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and cash were recovered.
The raids were not the end of the operation as the force was determined to keep the dealers at bay with the use of further drug raids, more enforcement operations and greater education targeted at schoolchildren.
Officers, reformed drug addicts and parents of drugs users have visited schools to drive home the dangers drug misuse can bring.
As the police continued to make sure the streets were safe for the people of Burton, the courts took up the battle of making sure these people were brought to justice.
It was also revealed that the operation to jail the dealers was linked to several serious incidents in the area including a grenade attack in Goodman Street and ongoing gang -elated crime.
Astonishing, details also revealed that during a 10 month period a phones operated by the drug dealers received 26,000 calls and drugs worth an estimated £500,000 were sold on the streets during that time.
For many people, there might not have seemed to have been a major problem with drugs in Burton.
Operation Nemesis showed how a large-scale drug dealing can go on unnoticed under the noses of the public.
However, as the nights begin to drawn in and the winter weather can be spied in the distance, the town is now a safer place and free of people who were looking to ruin lives through drugs while making vast fortunes.