BURTON’S top cop has proclaimed that the ‘hard work has just begun’ after he assessed the aftermath of a massive police operation to tackle a drug problem that has blighted the town.
Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, commander of the East Staffordshire local policing team, spoke to the Mail as the dust settled on one of the biggest days in the town’s history.
He described how he had a ‘warm glow’ after a series of raids on Wednesday morning resulted in 17 arrests and 15 people being charged with a multitude of offences.
He said: “I am so pleased with the way it has all gone as this has been a long time in the making.
“I am still taking in all in and I just have a warm glow about the way it has all gone and an immense proud in everyone that took part.”
Chief Insp Maskrey said that the next stage was to make sure that the gap created by ‘blowing a huge hole’ in Burton’s drug trade is not filled by other criminals.
He added: “After the early morning raids, we had 80 officers and PCSOs patrolling across the area to reassure people about what has happened but also to tell them about what we are going to be doing in the future.
“We know that by taking these people off the street, there is a now a gap in the market that we will ensure will not be filled by other criminals.
“We have had a very positive reaction to the operation and hopefully it will help improve people’s lives.”
He also said how the raids showed just how much information from the members of the public helped police target criminals.
He said: “We have had some of the information that led to these raids sometime ago and some people have thought that we were just ignoring it.
“I hope that this shows that we didn’t ignore it, want all the information we can and will do what it takes to take people who are terrorising good, honest residents off the streets.”
“The amount of arrests show how successful the operation was and we now have to use this as a stepping stone to make sure we keep our finger on the pulse and not the drugs problem rear its head, on this kind of scale, again.”