Police teamwork with the community to smash drug dealing networks has led to 210 arrests and thousands of pounds of illegal cash being seized.
The city south Operation Reacher team has made 210 arrests, 128 drugs seizures and has taken 87 weapons and almost £100,000 off the street since its inception in October 2020. They continue to tackle organised crime as well as pursuing suspects believed to be involved in a range of incidents throughout the area.
Operation Reacher balances proactive evidence-led police work with strong community engagement events and programmes in order to build community teamwork and disrupt and dismantle criminal operations in the area.
The team recently stopped two boys in St Christopher Street, Sneinton, following reports of suspicious activity in November. A 17-year-old was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. No further action was taken against the second boy.
Following the arrest, officers searched a property in Sneinton, where they recovered two kitchen knives, a lock knife, and a large quantity of suspected class A drugs including heroin and crack cocaine. They also recovered a number of empty deal bags and paraphernalia. Enquiries into the discovery are ongoing.
Also, on 11 January 2022, the team descended on a property in Lammas Gardens, The Meadows, following intelligence around drugs activity. Once inside the house, officers recovered a quantity of suspected cannabis and cocaine as well as approximately £1,000 in cash. A 26-year-old man attended a voluntary interview and enquiries remain ongoing.
Sergeant Tim Register, who leads the city south Operation Reacher team for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We are very much a proactive team and we get involved in a wide variety of police work.
“Our work is heavily intelligence-based and it is vital that we can work this way as this allows us to understand and build that wider picture around criminal activity that may be happening and target issues and criminals most effectively, which is a positive for all the community.
“As well as this, by building up a rapport and getting information from the local area, we can make sure we are focussing on the issues that matter most to residents and ensure that the service we provide is tailored to them and they are satisfied with the work we are doing.
“We have subsequently been able to recover a significant quantity of drugs and weapons and take them out of circulation. Drugs and weapons, in particular, are something we take extremely seriously as they can be indicators of wider serious crime.
“As well as this, we have ongoing operations, such as regular action on off-road bikes in Clifton, and our work with detectives and probation to help with warrants and recalls to prison. We also support a lot of work from neighbourhood policing teams and other organisations with ongoing investigations. In these situations, it is very often the team’s training and experience in entry and search which is key in these operations.
“We are, quite simply, dedicated to targeting criminal activity in the area and acting on the concerns of the community.”
The team not only tackle reports of drugs or weapons activity, but they are out regularly in the community and ready to step in on a variety of other crime at a moment’s notice. On 10 December 2021, Reacher officers were in the Sneinton Road area of Sneinton when they spotted two youths running. Sensing something wasn’t right, officers jumped out of their van, chased after them and arrested the pair in the Sneinton Road area.
As they were detaining the youths and making enquiries the officers then found out about a crash which had happened nearby in Newark Street. It was alleged they had ran off from a car involved in the collision.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of driving without insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and possession of cannabis.
A 15-year-old boy was detained on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, failing to stop and possession of cannabis.
No-one was injured in the crash and the pair have been released under investigation whilst further enquiries are under way.
Engagement is also a huge part of the team’s work, and over the course of the 2021 summer, a group of nine teenagers, aged 13-16 years old, were able to get a taste of what it is like to be an officer for a day as part of the event hosted alongside Stonebridge City Farm. In fine form, the city south Reacher team were there and set up a search warrant where the kids had to find a whole host of items stashed throughout the farm, replicating what it is like for them on a regular search warrant.
Peter Armitage, general manager at Stonebridge City Farm, said: “We had a great day with the youngsters and officers who came down to the farm. They were so positive and really enjoyed the interaction with the police who ran a number of exercises with them through the day.
“This engagement is something we are extremely keen to be a part of and help with, and it’s also really rewarding that a number of people in the group, aged 14 and over, expressed interest in doing some more work experience with us and we very much look forward to seeing them again in the near future now we can once again offer work experience.”
City south Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Karl Thomas, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The work that the Operation Reacher team does is the bread and butter of what neighbourhood policing should be about.
“As well as getting the results and ensuring the area is a safe place to live, they have also done a fantastic job of meeting members of the public and engaging with them, which is important to build those relationships and even encourage people at a young age to consider policing as a career.
“In terms of their day-to-day work, it is incredibly important to have that dedicated resource which can take a step back, look at the wider picture and tackle what is concerning people most in the community. This is how we make sure we are as effective possible and are offering a service that people want and feel is positively impacting on them.
“Their work over the past year is something that I have been extremely pleased with as their Inspector and through feedback I can say the community has been pleased with the work they are doing as well.
“Residents living in the south of the city can be assured that there is dedicated team tracking and cracking down on crime in their area, and it is only a matter of time before criminals have a not-so-quiet early morning knock at their door.”
There are now Operation Reacher teams in all 12 policing neighbourhoods across the Nottinghamshire Police force footprint.