Big police anti-drugs swoop sees 22 arrested in Horley, Redhill and London

First published in News

Twenty-two people have been arrested in a big police anti-drugs swoop on more than 30 addresses in Redhill, Horley and London.

The series of dawn raids yesterday (Wednesday, January 29), codenamed Operation Beet and involving about 270 officers, was aimed at dismantling a network of suspected drug dealers.

The operation was mounted after Surrey Police received intelligence suggesting that drug dealers were supplying class A drugs from various addresses.

Officers from across the Force, including detectives, dog handlers, search teams, police support units and rapid entry teams, were involved in the execution of the warrants.

Twenty-two people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: “Prior to the early morning raids, Surrey Police has been gathering information from the community and working with support agencies to ensure those affected by drugs have access to the support that is available.”

The raids followed months of planning.

Superintendent Jerry Westerman said: "Operation Beet has yet again shown how successful Surrey Police is in identifying and dismantling suspected networks of drug dealers who attempt to supply illegal substances in our county.”

Supt Westerman said: "It is widely accepted that class A drug abuse destroys communities. “Not only are those dependent on drugs harming themselves, but anyone who has been a victim of a crime as a result of a user needing to fund their habit, are also affected.”

He continued: "Although the majority of the warrants executed this morning were in the borough of Reigate and Banstead, we also identified the need to target suspected dealers at addresses in London.”

He added: “This sends out a stark warning to anyone thinking of coming into Surrey intent on committing offences that we can, and will, put an end to the misery caused by drugs.”

Reigate and Banstead Neighbourhood Inspector Dan Gutierrez, said: "Following the raids, officers from the Reigate and Banstead Safer Neighbourhood Team will provide a high-visibility presence in the communities affected by the raids this morning, to assist members of the community and reassure them.”

One person was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a class A drug and another person on suspicion of firearms offences. At the time of writing, all those arrested were in police custody.

Anyone who has information on drug dealing in their community can contact their safer neighbourhood team on 101, where information will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Alternatively, people can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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