Two men have been arrested on suspicion of affray following a violent altercation on Grimsby’s Nunsthorpe estate last night (Monday, July 1).
We were called at around 7.15pm following reports of an incident in Burwell Drive. On our arrival, a man fled at the scene and a 29-year-old man was arrested a short time later.
A 41-year-old man who is also said to have been involved in the altercation was also arrested and both were taken to hospital as a precaution before being brought into custody.
Detective Inspector Wendy Lusby said: “We know that this kind of incident can have a big impact on our communities and we’re pleased we were quickly able to get the situation under control and those we believe to have been involved into custody.
“They are believed to be known to each other and we understand that there was no risk to the wider public.
“We’re now investigating the full circumstances of the incident.
“If you have any information you believe could help us, please call our non-emergency 101 line quoting log number 566 of July 1.
Police attended Duke street this morning and are believed to have arrested a number of people.
Armed police could be seen entering a couple of houses.
Some neighbours believe it could related to a knife attack at Farebrother st.
Police released this statement today.
Grimsby Detective Inspector Phil Booker, of Humberside Police said: “This morning at around 7.30am we were called to an address on Farebrother Street, to reports that a man had suffered knife wounds in an alleged serious assault.
“I am pleased to report that the man has not sustained life-threatening injuries but he remains in hospital for treatment.
“It appears on our initial enquiries that the alleged assault took place in the street and we have a scene guard in place on Farebrother Street whilst we gather forensic evidence from the scene.
We have arrested seven people on Duke Street in connection with the assault and although our investigation is at an early stage we do not believe there are any outstanding suspects that we have not located and arrested.
A further three men have been charged with drugs offences as part of an on-going Humberside Police operation to stop suspected county lines operations in Grimsby.
Jordan West, 26, of Hull; Scott Hendry, 26, of Longshaw Street, Warrington and Craig Owen, 31, of Overton Court, Barton, were arrested in a co-ordinated operation last night (Wednesday, May 22).
All three are charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine between September 2017 and March 2019. Owen is further charged with making threats of violence on August 21, 2018.
West and Hendry have been remanded to appear before Grimsby Magistrates Court this morning (Thursday, May 23), while Owen has been bailed to appear before the same court on July 2, 2019.
These latest charges follow the arrest and charge of Andrew Vassou, 29, of Queens Drive, Liverpool and Leslie Aytoun, 48, of Lochinvar Street, Liverpool, in an operation which saw teams from Humberside, Merseyside, Cheshire, the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) carry out strikes in Grimsby, Liverpool and Warrington.
Vassou and Aytoun are also charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and have been remanded in custody following an appearance at Grimsby Magistrates Court on Monday, March 25.
This happened over the past week throughout Lincolnshire
Officers last week visited 16 properties across the Lincolnshire area suspected of being cuckooed by county lines drug dealers.
The visits were part of a nationwide drive by the police and the National Crime Agency to tackle known county lines and ensure drug users vulnerable to exploitation are offered help and support.
‘Cuckooing’ is the term used for when drug dealers use violence, exploitation and intimidation to take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.
‘County lines’ refers to the gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas in the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or another form of ‘deal line’.
Gangs based in cities are targeting the most vulnerable people in smaller area across the country, including Lincolnshire, to sell class A drugs on their behalf.
Nationally over`586 arrests were made between May 13th and 20th.
As part of the week of action, a number of warrants were executed at properties across Lincolnshire, including Lincoln, Sleaford, Louth and Grantham, linked to drugs, resulting in the arrest of nine people, seven men and two women.
Five of these arrests were made in connection with possession with intent to supply and four were for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. All of those arrested have been either released under investigation, released on bail or released with no further action.
Four different County Lines were identified during the week of action.
In total, across Lincolnshire, 12 vulnerable adults were spoken to following welfare checks.
During the warrants officers seized quantities of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine and a quantity of unknown tablets.
Five knives were also confiscated along with more than £3,000 cash and mobile phones.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Knubley, force lead for county lines, said: “We all know drugs have a detrimental impact on our communities, with anti-social behaviour and other crimes such as theft and burglary committed by users looking to fund their habits.
“But county lines gangs also pose a significant threat to users who are especially susceptible to exploitation. Many do not view themselves as victims and are often manipulated into carrying out crimes or subjected to violence.
“We are committed to tackling those who inflict such harm on our communities whether they are members of the public, people with substance misuse issues or children vulnerable to exploitation.
“In the past week, we have been able to speak face to face with people who may not have otherwise proactively sought help, signposting them to support agencies and giving advice on how to keep themselves safe. “We have also caused significant disruption to the gangs supplying the county lines in our force area, taking drugs and weapons off our streets in the process.
“It is important that everybody recognises the signs of drug activity and exploitation of vulnerable people.
“If you have any information about people you believe are involved in drugs, either as victims or perpetrators, please let us know. We will assess all intelligence received and take robust action where necessary.”
Detective Inspector Emma Nealon, County Line Tactical Coordination and Support Officer for East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “We are now starting to see and hear the term county lines on the television and in the papers on a daily basis. It’s infiltrated our news feeds like the perpetrators have invaded our communities.
“In the East Midlands we have seen a number of county lines prosecutions, as well as these more recent results as part of a nationally coordinated intensification week.
“Policing this type of criminality not only involves removing drugs and the violence that comes with it from our streets, we must also work closely with our partners to identify those vulnerable people who have been groomed or exploited into this type of criminality and help them break away from it.
“And you can help us. Do you know the signs to look out for?
“Has a mate or young relative started dressing differently, wearing expensive designer clothes or flashing the cash when they have never had it before? Have they started to go missing for long periods of time, disengaging with school and becoming prone to truancy or even exclusion? Do they turn up with injuries they try to hide or explain away? Have you seen them in multiple taxis or different cars driven by unknown adults?
“And what about your neighbourhood? Has there been an increase in visitors and cars to a particular house or flat? Are there unfamiliar faces or regularly changing residents, with accents not local to the area? Are there new young people in the area who appear to be unaccustomed to their surroundings? Is there evidence of substance misuse or drug paraphernalia from a neighbour? Have they become withdrawn or aggressive?
“Those who are vulnerable to county lines are also vulnerable to other forms of exploitation so trust your gut and report it.” Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones added: “It is crucial that law enforcement brings an end to activities of the despicable gangs that both peddle drugs and enslave vulnerable children to do their bidding.
“I am delighted that Lincolnshire Police has been at the forefront of the County Lines campaign and completely support their efforts to bring these criminals to justice.
“Keeping children safe and drugs off out streets are crucial in the continued drive to keep our communities safe and I will continue to work with our partners agencies across the county to support our force’s efforts.” National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for County Lines, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, said: “The past week has seen police forces work together across the UK to send a clear message that we will do everything possible to dismantle County Lines gangs and protect the vulnerable being exploited by them.
“The large number of arrests and weapons seizures is testament to the hard work and dedication of officers across the country, the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre and the support of key partners like social care, the NHS, schools and the charity sector.
“Tackling County Lines is not something we can do alone and we need the public to help us by reporting any information or concerns. You can give your information anonymously to Crimestoppers and help us pursue and prosecute those who commit violence and exploit the vulnerable.”
Anyone with concerns about County Lines can call us on 101 or call 999 in an emergency. If you’d rather stay anonymous you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you are a young person who is worried about being involved in County Lines, or knows someone who is, you can speak to an adult and let them know how you feel and report it to us.
In a large office in a police station somewhere in Hull a team of officers get together every day to plan the next steps towards taking drugs off our streets and tackling crime related to drugs.
Looking around the room, you wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a crowd of people on any given day. They’re not in uniform but are wearing jeans, trainers, and t-shirts.
It’s a jovial but work-like atmosphere and everyone has a nickname. But they know that their job, like any other police officer, is a serious one.
They’re Humberside Police’s north bank Proactive team.
You might have read about the officers who seize drugs, cash, and weapons as well as arrest and charge people involved in drugs crime. And you’ve probably seen footage or pictures of officers knocking down doors at properties where drugs are believed to be.
Well, Detective Sergeant Ian Holland is one of them. He sat down to answer a few questions about the work the team does. And why.
Q. Tell us about the work you do and how you find out about drug dealers?
Det Sgt Holland: “We get information in lots of different ways. It can be anything from a phone call from a neighbour about constant comings and goings at a property, an anonymous source, or Crimestoppers, but mainly from intelligence gathered from officers in our intelligence team and from daily observations by the proactive team– anything about suspicions about drug dealing going on.
“We build up that intelligence through surveillance and general intelligence gathering to get a better picture of what is happening, where and who is involved. Wherever drugs are being dealt, it is usually quite obvious.
“However the information comes in, it has to be verified and corroborated. We can’t always just act on it individually as we have to build on the information we get and determine whether or not we can use our police powers or if we need to apply for a warrant. Either way, we will look to take positive action as soon as we can.
“ In order to get a warrant, we to go to a Magistrate and explain exactly what the intelligence is and why you think a warrant is the most effective solution. We can carry out overt and covert work, gather information, and put out appeals – things like that – and ultimately decide if we have enough for a warrant.”
Q. So when you get the information together, what are you looking to achieve?
“The seizure of drugs is the main reason. Whether that be spice, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine – whatever the drug is they all fund a criminal lifestyle for the suppliers. We also look to recover cash and assets as well as evidence of dealing and other related offences.
“The people that buy harder drugs can have criminal records too. To buy drugs they have to get money from somewhere. This is usually through theft, burglary, and vehicle crime, which creates more victims.
“Targeting the dealers reduces the availability of the drugs. It allows us to work with our partners such as drug support services and probation services to reduce the demand for drugs, and ultimately reduce crime.”
Q. How long does it take to get a warrant?
“It can be the same day. If we have good intelligence and someone contacts us with concerns we can check our systems and see if it’s corroborated with other calls.
“We can get one in half an hour, and we can be banging on the door if we think it’s proportionate at that time.”
Q. What kind of problems do people experience who live near a suspected drug dealer?
“Generally, if someone is dealing drugs – even if that’s a lower level drug like cannabis – they’re usually dealing at all times of the night and day.
“People call in to say saying they’re fed up with loud music, cars coming at all times and callers knocking and shouting through letter boxes.
“There may be children or old people there. You wouldn’t want people banging on a door 24 hours a day.
“The people who buy the cannabis can also be antisocial, often quite loud, and could be committing crime in the area to buy drugs. Some people think that cannabis is an acceptable drug for people to have. The law says otherwise and it’s our job is to enforce the law.
“It can be a shock when we jump out of a van, shout ‘police’ then knock down a door. We try and reassure people as soon as we can but we obviously can’t before a warrant as you don’t know who you’re speaking to, as they could be involved or give a tip-off to a dealer.
“It’s important that we reassure communities because despite the fact that some people might say ‘it’s only cannabis’, people living nearby – I’d say over 90% of them – say ‘I’m really glad you’ve done that’, or ‘I’ve been wanting you to do that’.
“Hopefully most members of the public understand what we’re doing and why, and support us.
“In the estates we go to we always get a good response from people there. The people we don’t get a good response from are generally drug users themselves who don’t like that we’re disrupting their daily lives because they want to buy the drugs.”
Q. It isn’t just single drug dealers you’re stopping – what about larger groups such as county lines drugs dealers?
“County lines is a blight across the country. You have bigger scale dealers who are using little known, young and vulnerable people to come into our areas to deal drugs for them. Their belief is that young people won’t get punished as hard. They are preying on vulnerable young people and the users themselves just so they can profit financially. They have no regard for anyone but themselves.
“These youths can get paid quite handsomely, but they don’t see the risks and don’t really know what they’re doing. But if they don’t do it, they and their families could be threatened or subject to violence. Our job isn’t just to catch the dealers, but to safeguard these vulnerable youngsters.
“On the south and north banks we’ve had people coming in from Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham who take over and live in properties of drug users and other vulnerable people and deal from there. That’s called ‘cuckooing’.
“Sometimes these people are even kicked out of their homes. The dealers will give a drug user maybe £20 worth of heroin a day while they themselves are earning hundreds or even thousands of pounds from someone else’s property.
“We’ve had some high profile success recently in Grimsby with stopping county lines drug dealers which is great.”
Q. Is drug dealing a big problem across the force area?
“Well, we execute between 100 and 150 warrants a year. Maybe 2 or 3 a week, sometimes more. And there are up to two dozen officers in the team at any one time so we get through a lot of work.
“It’s not just warrants though. We have plain clothes officers on the streets who are constantly on the look-out for drug dealers and users. We regularly see deals being done in broad daylight so arrests and seizures are made on a daily basis.
“We have a lawful power under sections 18 and 32 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act to go the dealer’s address where we often find larger amounts of drugs and cash and we can seize that too.
“We have officers in plain clothes out there as we speak. People dealing drugs don’t expect to see us 24 hours a day. We’ll just pop up and, supported by uniformed colleagues, it can work really well.
“A dynamic situation might unfold in front of us in the street where we can arrest the person, search an address and recover a lot of drugs in a very short amount of time. And once you know a few tricks of the trade you can spot a dealer a mile off.”
If you have any information or concerns about drug crimes please we want you to contact us, or if you want to remain anonymous please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
*We will publish the second part of Det Sgt Ian Holland’s interview about the work that he and his colleagues do in a couple of days*