Six arrested as Op Warrior continues

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The net continues to close in on organised crime in Lancashire following a series of dawn raids earlier today.


Six people were arrested in the latest Operation Warrior strike which saw warrants executed at six addresses in Preston and Blackpool.


The six were all arrested on suspicion of Conspiracy to Supply a Class A controlled drug and money laundering.


They are a man aged 34 from Leyland, a man aged 61 from Preston, a woman aged 26 from Preston, a man aged 35 from Preston, a man aged 52 from Blackpool and a man aged 36 from Blackpool.


They all remain in custody.


Operation Warrior is our name for a county-wide crime crackdown aimed at disrupting and tackling organised crime. Not only are warrants and arrests taking place on a weekly basis, but a high-profile advertising campaign has led to more information coming in from members of the public, leaving no place to hide for offenders.


Warrior is dedicated to bringing more offenders to justice as well as stripping them of their cash, cars, and other assets.


In the last four months alone, Op Warrior has led to almost 300 arrests, close to 100 charges, more than 20 cash seizures and over 60 years imprisonment for offenders. 


Operation Warrior targets both individuals and gangs involved in crime, as well as associated issues such as violence and intimidation, large scale drug supply, exploitation, and fraud, all of which can cause serious harm to local communities.

It aims to deliver on Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden's Fighting Crime Plan priority


Police activity, coupled with a high-profile leaflet, radio and billboard campaign, has seen an increase in information being passed to Police, all of which will help to bring more offenders to justice.


Det Chief Insp James Edmonds said: “We are committed to tackling serious and organised crime which is a threat to communities across the country. It takes many forms including drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal immigration, fraud and financial crime, counterfeiting, organised acquisitive crime, cybercrime, and exploitation.


“Here in Lancashire, we’re taking a very proactive approach to tackling the issue. Every week we’re arresting an average of 17 people for organised crime and each month we’re seizing over £55,000 of cash along with other assets like drugs and cash.


“We’re making sure this message is getting out to local communities and as a result, we’re starting to see an increase in intelligence coming into us. This is great because it provides more opportunity to target offenders and more chance of them being caught.


“We are focussing on a significant amount of activity across the county and Operation Warrior is helping to ensure the net is closing in on organised crime in Lancashire.”


He appealed for the public’s continued support, saying: “Nobody knows their local communities better than the people who live here. I would appeal for anyone with any suspicions, to contact us or to call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously. Even the tiniest bit of information might be the final piece of evidence we need to act.”

 Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: “I made taking the fight to organised crime gangs a top priority in my Fighting Crime Plan and the Constabulary is now delivering it with the full force of the law, which I was pleased to see when I joined officers on the front line, who are putting doors in and making arrests.


"Op Warrior is the force-wide operation that is stepping up the pressure in disrupting and dismantling these gangs - and the number of raids, arrests and drug seizures speak for themselves.


“I am also pleased to see an increase in intelligence coming from local neighbourhoods to support the fight against crime since the launch of our Op Warrior media campaign. 


"Organised crime gangs are a blight on society as they bring fear, violence, drugs and exploitation into Lancashire and I would encourage anyone who has any information to come forward and report it to the police or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers.”


Police are still appealing for anyone with information about organised crime to contact them or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously. Information leading to an arrest could lead to a reward of up to £1,000.


Organised crime includes: 


  • Trafficking - A sign that it is occurring could be a house being used by a large group of people or people calling at the house at all times of the day.
  • Drugs supply – This often involves exploitation of the vulnerable and violence in local communities.
  • Cyber-crime – Fraudulent emails or phishing scams with the aim of getting personal details are often distributed by organised crime groups.
  • Businesses crime – This can range from “chop shops” dismantling stolen cars for spare parts right through to businesses being used for money laundering.

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