Eight arrested as weapons and drugs seized in early morning Bedford raids


Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs during early morning police raids in an operation to tackle crime in the town’s high rise flats.

Concerns about drugs and anti-social behaviour in the tower blocks have been raised by nearby residents for more than a year.

A number of weapons and suspected Class A drugs were also seized in the major multi-agency operation which happened yesterday (Thursday).

For the first time ever, Bedfordshire Police will also be looking to secure a partial closure order on an entire block of flats at court today to drive out criminals in the long-term.

Inspector Samantha Hunt, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “We take reports of these issues very seriously and know the damaging impact drugs and anti-social behaviour can have on our communities.”

Bedford,s community policing team carried out raids at three different addresses in Chandos Court and Richbell Court.

While they’ll look for full closure orders on the flats raided, they’ll also seek the wider partial closure order of Chandos Court.

“Tackling organised crime and the exploitation that comes with it is something we play a key role in, but it is only by working with our partners and communities that we can take this more holistic approach and come up with long term solutions.

“We have been working with our partners for months on this ongoing operation and we will use all the powers available to us to protect the vulnerable in our society.

“Our investigation into these issues is ongoing and we remain committed to stamping out organised crime and exploitation in our community,” added Inspector Hunt.

Left to right: Inspector Sam Hunt from Bedfordshire Police, Cllr Colleen Atkins and bpha regional housing manager David Genery

Bedford Borough Council and bpha supported police in the operation.

Kevin Bolt, bpha’s chief executive, said: “This outcome is a really good piece of joint working with our partners and is testament to the hard work we have been doing over a number of months to make these homes a better place to live for our communities.”

Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Bedford Borough Council, added: “Partnership working which brings together expertise from the council, Bedfordshire Police and bpha alongside our communities really is key in the success of these kinds of operations.

Following the warrants, police and partners took part in a day of action in the area to safeguard other residents in the block, restoring CCTV, security doors and fire alarms to make the block safer.

You can report concerns around drug activity and wider anti-social behaviour via the online reporting centre on Bedfordshire Police’s website.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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