Operation Miller update: Disruption to organised crime continues with 107 arrests and 230 stop searches in last week
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In this week’s round-up under Operation Miller, Merseyside Police has made 726 arrests, 1,938 stop searches, executed 142 warrants, recovered 15 firearms and carried out 128 open land searches to disrupt serious and organised crime.
The operation, which began more than a month ago, is the Force’s response to relentlessly pursue and target those involved in organised crime on Merseyside.
In the last week there has been 107 arrests and 230 stop searches in the force area.
Significant police operations which took place during the week are as follow:
On Monday 19 September officers stopped and searched a man driving a Ford Fiesta on Breeze Hill in Bootle. Following a search of the vehicle the 27-year-old driver from Upton was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug, cannabis. He has been released under investigation.
Officers also attended an address on Herbarth Close in Walton where a man was seen leaving the rear of the property carrying a bag containing a brown substance, suspected to be amphetamine.
A search of the property was conducted which revealed large quantities of suspected drugs, £800 cash, a Tag Huer watch, and equipment to manufacture drugs were located and seized. Officers also discovered a room which was suspected to be a converted drugs manufacturing laboratory to produce amphetamine.
Three people, a 51-year-old man and two women, aged 49 and 22, from Walton, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs, possession of criminal property and the production of a Class A drug, amphetamine. They have been released while further enquiries are carried out.
Later that evening (Monday 19 September) officers executed a warrant at a house on Netherby Street in Dingle at 8.20pm.
During the search a suspected firearm, ammunition and a hand grenade was found at the address. The firearm has been recovered and being forensically examined to establish if it is a viable weapon.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team carried out a controlled explosion of the hand grenade.
Paul Cox, 58 years, of Netherby Street in Dingle has been charged with being in possession of a firearm without a certificate, possession of a controlled explosive with intent to endanger life, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate, possession of an explosive substance for unlawful purpose. His case has been referred to Liverpool Crown Court which takes place on Wednesday 19 October.
Five other people who were arrested have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
In Knowsley, a large knife and a suspected stolen scramble bike were recovered after a man on a pedal bike made off after seeing officers on the Field Lane estate in Fazakerley. Following a short pursuit officers caught up with the suspect and searched a property on Alicia Walk where the knife and scramble bike were seized.
A 29-year-old man from Bootle was arrested suspicion of obstructing a Misuse of Drugs Act, handling stolen goods, possession of a weapon, and possession of a controlled Class B drug. He has been released under investigation.
In Wirral, officers noticed a strong smell of cannabis emanating from a car on Beckwith Street in Birkenhead and did a stop search where they found three large bags of cannabis and £800 which were seized.
A 28-year-old man from Thatto Heath in St Helens was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a controlled Class B drug, cannabis. He has been released pending further enquiries.
Superintendent Chris Joughin said: “Officers from across the Force have been involved in this month-long disruption to target and disrupt criminals involved in serious and organised crime.
“Operation Miller works in tandem with other police enforcement operations we have in place all year round to disrupt criminality and protect those living in our communities. These include Operation Venetic which targets criminals who used the mobile encryption service Encrochat in an attempt to evade detection, Project Medusa to tackle County Lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation, and local policing operations such as Operation Presley and Operation Vermont in an ongoing proactive policing operation to find criminals, prevent anti-social behaviour and keep our streets safe.
“Operation Miller supports the work we do every day of the year to tackle those who offend in our communities. Stop searches, warrants, land searches and arrests take place all year round across Merseyside, often in those areas the public tell us where there are issues.
“We have recovered numerous dangerous weapons, removing them from our streets for good and have seized large quantities of drugs that cause harm in our communities and are sold to fund criminality.
“We are absolutely committed to disrupting any criminal activity which destroys our communities, and we remain dedicated to removing drugs and dangerous weapons from our streets.”
Anyone with information on organised crime or weapons or drugs stored in your area is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111. We also have the dedicated Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) on our website where you can download CCTV, Dashcam and smart doorbell footage. If you have footage you think could be crucial to our investigations go to Public Portal (mipp.police.uk)