Searches in Blackthorn as Operation Viper tackles serious organised crime
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Police officers are today conducting searches of open areas of land in Northampton as part of Operation Viper, the Northamptonshire Police crackdown on serious organised crime.
Led by specialist search experts, the teams are searching in the Blackthorn area for illegally held weapons including firearms and drugs which may have been hidden by criminals.
The searches are being carried out based on information received from within local communities regarding the caching of these items in easily-accessed areas of land.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee McBride, who leads on Operation Viper for the force, said: “Today’s searches are all intelligence-led to try to locate weapons or drugs.
“As well as posing a risk to those who may inadvertently and innocently come across them, these items both enable and incite serious violence that we as a force will not tolerate.
“There have been two shootings in the wider area in the past year, with these incidents illustrating just how important it is that we do all we can to take illegal firearms out of circulation in order to protect people from harm.
“Our work today shows no stone will be left unturned as we pursue those involved in serious organised crime. Our message to those who have access to these items is that we know where and how you may try to hide them, and we will find them and we will take action against you over them.
“To our communities, I hope these searches illustrate that we act on the information you provide to us. Thank you for telling us what you know, and be reassured that we use that intelligence to take the fight to the criminals proactively and robustly.
“If you have any information at all that could help us, please report it directly to the Force by calling 101, or let the independent charity Crimestoppers know anonymously by calling 0800 555111.”
Tackling serious organised crime, including serious violence and drug-related activity, is a priority for Northamptonshire Police. Read more about Operation Viper here.