BURTON’S top cop described a three-month operation to take down drug dealers in the town as a ‘complete success’ – but warned criminals that ‘this is not the end, it is just the beginning’.
Steve Maskrey, commander of the East Staffordshire policing team, spoke to the Mail after a ninth suspect was charged following a series of dawn raids that took place across the town on Wednesday morning as part of Operation Nemesis.
The raid involved more than 150 police officers and staff, and was the third of its kind since the turn of the year.
Chief Inspector Maskrey said: “The response we have had from the public has been very good and is a real positive.
“The first time they know something is going on is when they look out of their window and see streets filled with police.
“They have had serious concerns so our community teams have done a great job of reassuring the public and explaining what exactly we have been doing.
“I believe the operation from start to finish has been a complete success.
“However, this is not the end – it is just the beginning, and we will continue to target dealers in the town and put an end to what they are doing.”
Eight people have appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court charged with a string of serious drug offences as a result of the raids last week.
A total of 40 people have now been charged as a direct result of the three early morning raids that have taken place over the last three months.
Chief Insp Maskrey added: “Another aspect that has been very positive is that people suffering from drug addiction have been coming forward since the start of the raids and asking for help in stopping using drugs.
“I would like to plead with anyone who uses drugs and wants to stop, or anyone who is concerned that a loved one might be an addict, to get in touch with either the police or addiction centres in the town so that we can help them beat the problem.
“Major drug raids, helping addicts as well as further operations are all part of an ongoing effort to dismantle the drug problem in Burton – we are not going to stop coming after the criminals, so it’s perhaps time they stopped before we catch them.”