Pubdate: Thu, 31 Oct 2002
Source: Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Copyright: 2002, Archant Regional
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


DETECTIVES believe they have busted a bid by London crooks to re-establish a
supply line of crack cocaine into Norwich.

Around UKP10,000 worth of the drug was recovered in a raid on a city flat in
what is being hailed as the most significant seizure since Norwich police's
blitz last month on crack cocaine trafficking.

That operation saw UKP100,000 worth of class A drugs recovered and 35 people
arrested, including eight dealers with known "Yardie" connections, the term
for ferocious Jamaican villains.

At the time police described them as "major league wholesalers", the highest
echelon involved in bringing the drug from London into Norwich.

The arrests and seizures, which took place at the beginning of September,
saw the flow of crack in Norwich dry up.

Police warned at the time, that they expected other dealers would attempt to
get the drugs market back online.

But officers have intelligence-gathering structures in place, including
informants on the ground, to tip them off about new dealers trying to fill
the void in the market.

The latest raid, on a flat in Magdalen Close last Friday, was not the first
time such an attempt was thwarted, but it is thought to have been the
biggest bust so far.

It saw two Londoners arrested, as well as the occupier of the flat.

While officers were searching the property, two other men turned up and were

One was already wanted by police and the other was found with some cannabis
on him.

The raid was carried out by officers deployed on the ongoing Operation
Brickle, the police's purge on burglary and associated crime.

Det Insp Dave Greenacre said: "We arrested three men from the flat,
including two who were Afro-Caribbean and from the London area, and the
occupier, as well as two going to the address.

"This is the biggest seizure since the raids last month.

"Officers in central area are maintaining a proactive approach to all
aspects of criminality, especially the supply of class A drugs, as they are
viewed as a catalyst for other acquisitive crime."

The swoop shows the police's ongoing focus on disrupting the supply of the
drug, which has been linked to a recent rise in street robberies, burglaries
and car break-ins.

The clampdown at the beginning of September has been linked to a 12 per cent
drop in violent crime last month and a 14 per cent fall in vehicle crime.

Rocks of crack cocaine usually cost around UKP25 each. Drug treatment
workers say addicts can spend hundreds of pounds a week on their habit. The
cash is usually raised through crime.

* Brickle officers have also arrested two other suspected burglars over the
past week.
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