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Six arrests as police close drug factory

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

Drugs haul

DRUGS HAUL: Sergeant Rich Barnett, safer neighbourhood police sergeant for Crewkerne, Chard and Ilminster, PCSO Dave Travers, Chard beat manager Paul Thomas and PCSO Gareth Allington with some of the recently seized drugs

Police have shut down a cannabis factory and made six arrests in relation to Class A drug offences in Crewkerne, Chard and Ilminster.

The action comes as part of a campaign spearheaded by Sergeant Rich Barnett, safer neighbourhood police sergeant for the three towns.

He pledged to crack down on drugs when he took the post at the start of the year.

Now he has praised the local community for their help in providing information which has led to action being taken.

Sgt Barnett said: “I don’t want people to think Crewkerne, Chard and Ilminster are awash with drugs because they are not. There is not a massive drug problem.

“But through our own initiative and acting on information we receive from the public, we are targeting the very small minority of people involved in drug cultivation and distribution locally.

“We want them to know we are coming to get them.”

Police in Chard arrested a man following a foot chase through Summerfields Road on Thursday, February 21.

The Safer Somerset Neighbourhood Team and response officers in Chard were carrying out patrols in the area and approached a man.

He ran off but was collared by police who recovered eight wraps of suspected class A drugs. The man was arrested for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and later released on police bail.

Police say a subsequent search of a property in Chard later that morning revealed further class A drugs.

The arrest follows a swoop on Tuesday, February 19, where five others were arrested.

Police in Chard made the arrests within the space of half an hour.

Two people were arrested on Summerfields Road and Bath Street at around 9.50am for possession of Class A drugs.

This led to police attending a property in Coronation Street at 10.20am, where they arrested a further three people believed to be concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

The five have been released on police bail.

Officers also executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act in Southmead Crescent, Crewkerne, where a small cannabis factory was found.

The plants were destroyed and a woman was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis. She has been bailed pending further enquiries.

A cannabis factory was also shut down in Seavington St Michael on Friday, February 8. A man is currently helping police with their enquiries.

Sgt Barnett said: “Local information is so valuable and it can lead to the arrests made over the past week. In 14 years with the police I am still surprised at what the most seemingly innocuous information can eventually lead to for us.

“I would urge people to continue to report anything that doesn’t seem quite right.

“Community intelligence is a key part of our role. The public act as our eyes and ears.”

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