Published: August 6, 2012
Eight more arrests after police drug raids in Burnham-On-Sea area

A further eight people have been charged with drugs offences following a major 10-month police investigation in the Burnham-On-Sea area.

The eight have been charged with intent to supply, money laundering, possession of class A, B and C drugs and the production of cannabis following an operation into suspected drug crime in Highbridge, Burnham, Bridgwater and Sedgemoor.

The eight, who were charged last week, will be attending court over the coming months and if convicted could also face further investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The initial investigation, which began in October 2011, focussed on a suspected drugs supply chain.

Following the arrest of two people in the Bridgwater area, police identified approximately 30 individuals during the subsequent investigations thought to be supplying drugs or involved in other acquisitive crimes, such as theft from motor vehicles and burglary.

The investigation led to a day of action in March when officers executed ten misuse of drugs act warrants and eight 'Section 18' searches at properties in and around Highbridge, Pawlett and Bridgwater.

Thirty people were arrested for a range of offences as officers uncovered two cannabis factories and seized a combined total of 137 cannabis plants worth around £130,000.

They also found substances suspected to be heroin, amphetamine sulphate, crack cocaine, dried cannabis flowering heads and a large quantity of illegally possessed methadone.

Cash, totalling approximately £5,000, was also seized. A large amount of suspected stolen property was also recovered from several addresses, including power tools, a mountain bike, mobile phones, credit cards and suspect stolen driving licences.

During the warrants assets were also seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including a BMW motor car, motorcycle, watches and televisions.

Sgt Ian Kennett from Burnham Police, told "We have been targeting suspected offenders specifically identified through a long running operation. Individuals involved in drug crime are damaging our communities and often commit further offences such as burglary and theft. None of which will be tolerated."

"Tackling the issues that our communities identify as key remains our priority. We hold regular meetings and beat surgeries, which are proving highly successful. They provide us with large amounts of intelligence direct from the community, which as this case shows informs our proactive work. They are also an opportunity for the community to help shape their local policing."

"We carried out over 33 warrants and 'Section 18' searches in the Burnham and Highbridge area in relation to drugs last year and shut down six large scale cannabis factories. We will not tolerate drug dealing and associated crime and will continue to tackle it robustly."

Inspector Roger Tolley, Neighbourhood Inspector for Sedgemoor, added: "I intend to continue to tackle the issues that our communities have cited as their priority, particularly drug and acquisitive crime. These are my top priorities. This kind of criminality, which impacts not only on individual victims but the wider community, will not be tolerated."

"We will continue to work hard with the aim of maintaining and raising the public's trust and confidence in their local police service, to ensure that the community's needs are recognised and addressed and that the public, especially victims, are put first at all times. It is vital that the community continues talks to us. They are our eyes and ears. We need to know what is happening across the area. I encourage them to keep coming forward with information about what is happening in their neighbourhood. We will listen and we will take action, as this operation proves."

Residents who have information about illegal activities should contact Burnham's local policing team by calling 101.


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