A FEELING of déjà vu fell over me as the alarm clock went off at 3am and I made my way to Burton Police Station for the third phase of operations to tackle Burton’s drug trade.
After a brisk trip through Staffordshire, more than 150 police officers and staff, along with the Mail news team, listened in to a special briefing about the latest set of raids in the town.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Baker issued a rallying cry and said that the community in Burton were ‘loving’ was the force were doing and it was times like this that everyone should be proud to be a police officer.
Straight after we headed to our car and a convoy of vehicles departed police headquarters in Stafford heading for Burton.
As the long tranche of vehicles snakes towards Burton, the sky began to fill with light as 7am arrived.
After slipping off Derby Road from the A38, all the vehicles increased in speed and split off towards their designated targets.
Soon enough we reached our destination, Goodman Street.
Special tactical officers ploughed out of the police van and without pausing for breath began smashing their way through a pair of blue double doors that linked two properties and were daubed in a sign that read ‘keep clear’.
Within moments they were in but the first door brought them into a corridor with two additional doors – officers quickly switched to a smaller model of enforcer and smashed a glass door to smithereens with the air punctuated with screams of ‘police, police, police’.
A quick glimpse from the street showed the property was a sprawling mass filled with wrecked cars, a trampoline and a disused outhouse.
A visit to Queen Street showed that police had completely destroyed the front door of a property and had arrested a male suspect.
He was dressed all in grey from head to toe, handcuffed and escorted to the back of a police van – his head bowed in shame.
The tension in the air was soon eased when a small white dog decided to join police officers in the street after leaving the property via the now door less doorway.
The morning ended with smiles all round as members of the public lined up to praise the police for another successful attempt to rid the streets of Burton of drugs.