Police fight back against organised crime targeting Rugby

Rugby police have today (Wednesday) gone public with details about a major operation aimed at tackling violent and drug related crime in the town.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 5:00 am
Police have launched Operation Guardian NNL-160517-174647001

And they are now appealing for support from members of the public.

Operation Guardian was launched back in March this year.

So far it has led to 29 arrests in Rugby and the seizure of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of over £50,000, along with £12,000 in cash and 12 vehicles.

Seven warrants have been executed in total and the arrests made related to a range of incidents including drug, theft, driving offences and breach of warrants.

The operation is being carried out with the support and involvement of a range of Rugby organisations including Orbit Housing, The Recovery Partnership, Rugby Borough Council, Rugby Community Safety Partnership and Warwickshire County Council.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Harrison said: “Over the past few months it has become apparent that organised crime groups are coming into the town to commit crime and cause disruption to the local community.

“Today we are sending out a very clear message to these people that we will be targeting them and we will be doing everything possible to make the place as hostile as possible for them. We will also share intelligence with surrounding forces to ensure the same people can’t continue to commit crime in other areas.

“We have been carrying out a range of activities in the area including warrants, drug dog and licensing operations and vehicle stop and searches, all targeted at identified individuals. These are designed to make life as difficult as possible for these people and we will be continuing this activity.

“We have already taken great strides in disrupting the activities of organised crime groups in Rugby over the past few weeks but the long term success of the operation will involve the cooperation of the local community.

“The action taken so far should reassure people that we will act upon all intelligence and I would encourage anyone with information to contact us.”

Kevin Ruddock from The Recovery Partnership said: “As the intention of this operation is to disrupt and deter the supply of drugs, it is important that we work with the other agencies involved to offer support to people who are reliant on drugs. This will help them to overcome their addiction and ensure that the demand for drugs in Rugby reduces in the long term.”

Keith Newell, manager of the Rugby Community Safety Partnership, added: “We are co-ordinating a range of partners to support the police with this high profile operation. Over the last few months, there have been examples of serious violent crime in the town, a number of which have been linked to organised crime groups trying to establish themselves in the town. We need to reassure local people, through Operation Guardian, that we are on their case and will pursue them relentlessly with the considerable resources and powers at our disposal.”

Anyone wishing to report concerns about violent or drug related organised crime in Rugby should call 101 and quote Operation Guardian.

Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org