Four Stoke-on-Trent Men Arrested [Updated 1845]

Four men from Stoke-on-Trent have been arrested as part of a counter terrorism operation across the UK this morning seeing 12 men arrested.

The men ““ five from Cardiff, four from Stoke and three from London ““ were detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK (Terrorism Act 2000) during a number of raids across the UK by unarmed officers at 5am this morning.

The operation is being led by DAC Stuart Osborne Senior National Coordinator Terrorist Investigations, and coordinated from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. It also involves the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, South Wales Police and Staffordshire Police.

The 4 men from Stoke-on-trent were arrested at or near their home addresses, with the exception of one suspect who was at a domestic property in Birmingham.

Searches are now being conducted at the home addresses, plus the address in Birmingham and another residence in London.

The men arrested are

  • Male aged 28 from Cardiff
  • Male aged 26 from Cardiff
  • Male aged 25 from Cardiff
  • Male aged 24 from Cardiff
  • Male aged 23 from Cardiff
  • Male aged 19 from Stoke-on-Trent
  • Male aged 26 from Stoke-on-Trent
  • Male aged 26 from Stoke-on-Trent
  • Male ages 25 from Stoke-on-Trent
  • Male aged 20 from London
  • Male aged 28 from London
  • Male aged 17 from London
This is a large scale, pre-planned and intelligence led operation involving several forces.

The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the suspected offences. However, I believe it was necessary at this time to take action in order to ensure public safety.

Officers from the local NPU are highly visible in the area of the raids to reassure local residents and flyers with information to keep residents informed are being handed out.

At 18:30 Chief Superintendent Bernie O’Reilly, Stoke on Trent Divisional Commander issued the following statement

This afternoon we met with community leaders following today’s early morning raids which took place as part of a national, pre-planned counter terrorism operation.
The meeting was called to help us understand local community concerns and to offer support and reassurance to people in the area following the arrest of 12 men in Stoke-on-Trent, South Wales and London, on suspicion of terrorism offences.

We only act against individuals about whom there is reasonable suspicion that they may be engaged in criminal acts. All communities want to feel safe and be safe.

We work hard on a daily basis to maintain the strong community relations we have here in Stoke-on-Trent and we do not take those relations for granted.

Throughout the day, local neighbourhood officers have been in the Stoke-on-Trent area talking with residents. Officers have also delivered a series of information leaflets.

In recent months, communities in our city have been affected by a number of significant incidents,, not connected with today’s events, and cohesion has been tested. However we are determined to continue to develop the trust we’ve built as we work to keep our communities safe and reassured.

I want to take this opportunity to re-assure everyone that police are absolutely committed to thoroughly investigating those incidents and to do everything we can to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

Finally, can I thank local people for their patience and understanding and urge residents to engage with their local community police officers who are in the area to offer support and reassurance.

Operation Nemises Update: Court Appearance For Three

Following a series of morning raids across the north of Stoke-on-Trent, Operation Nemises continues to yield results.

Two men and one woman from the Chell area of the city will today appear in court on serious drugs related charges.

Staffordshire Police had raided 5 properties as part of the ongoing Operation Nemesis.

The 5 properties, all in close proximity to each other around Monks Neil Park, were raided simultaneously by around 30 undercover officers who used force to gain entry. Search warrants were issued for the raids after reports from members of the public and investigations by the police.

No drugs were found at either of the properties on Sutton Place and no arrests were made.

As the searches on Sutton Place were being carried out other officers had raided 2 properties on Winghay Place and one on Ward Place.

A large quantity of what is believed to be class A drugs, were found at one of the properties on Winghay Place, hidden in a car. The car was taken away for forensic examination.

A male was arrested at the property in Ward Place and Police firearms officers were called to check and make safe a number of firearms which were found at the property.

Six Arrested During Morning Raids For Operation Nemesis

Staffordshire Police raided 5 properties in the Chell Heath Area of the city this morning as part of the ongoing Operation Nemesis.

The 5 properties, all in close proximity to each other around Monks Neil Park, were raided simultaneously by around 30 undercover officers who used force to gain entry. Search warrants were issued for the raids after reports from members of the public and investigations by the police. Continue reading

Stoke-onTrent EDL Demonstration More Arrests

Detectives from Staffordshire Police have arrested eight more people in connection with crime committed at the English Defence League (EDL) demonstration earlier this year.

The arrests have been made as part of ongoing work by officers from the force’s Major Investigation Department to identify those suspected of being responsible for violence and damage during the EDL demonstration on Saturday 23 January.

DI Tim Martin is managing a dedicated team responsible for investigating crimes committed on the weekend of the EDL demonstration.

In a statement DI Martin said, ‘Officers are continuing to review hundreds of hours worth of CCTV and video footage, collate statements and gather any other evidence from the demonstration which will help to identify offenders and put them before the courts.’

He went on to say, ‘We arrested 17 people on the day itself and have arrested a further eight. This should serve as a warning to those responsible for committing crime in Stoke-on-Trent that they will be caught. Officers from Staffordshire Police are also working closely with their counterparts at forces across the country to trace suspected offenders who live outside Stoke-on-Trent.’

Details of the 8 arrests are:

    * 16 year old male from Harriseahead, Stoke-on-Trent, arrested on suspicion of two counts of public order offences. Charged and due to appear at North Staffordshire Youth Court, Fenton, on March 26.
    * 19 year old male of no fixed address. Arrested and charged with theft of a police shield. Appeared at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court, Fenton, on March 11 and pleaded guilty. He was given a 12-mnth community order, 40 hrs unpaid work and ordered to pay £85 costs.
    * 21 year old woman from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, arrested on suspicion of theft of a police shield. Released with no further action.
    * 21 year old woman from Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, arrested on suspicion of theft of police shield. Released no further action.
    * 32 year old male from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, arrested on suspicion of damage and violent disorder. Bailed, pending further inquiries, until April 14.
    * 28 year old male from Bolton, Lancashire, arrested on suspicion of affray. Conditionally bailed, pending further inquiries, to April 14.
    * 22 year old male from Rochdale, Lancashire, arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. Conditionally bailed, pending further enquiries, until April 14.
    * 24 year old male from Bolton, Lancashire, arrested on suspicion of public order, affray and theft of a police helmet. Bailed, pending further inquiries, until March 31.

Anyone with information about crimes committed at the demonstration is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 44 55.

A Day in the Life of a publican amid the EDL protest

“It is a peacefeul protest”, and only a “minority” are troublemakers, it was claimed by EDL leaders ahead of the ‘demonstration’ on Saturday. Well I assure you, that was far from being the case.

As a business-owner in Hanley, I was directly affected by events, and witnessed much of the drama caused by factions of the English Defence League as they caused carnage around the city centre, as well as surrounding areas.

And it was a sad, sad day – without any exaggeration.

“Business as usual” was what the police had hoped for, but it was unfortunately far from it. Hundreds of campaigners, who acted more like football hooligans, gathered in Wetherspoons, armed with flags and pints. I am sure many have already seen some of the Youtube footage of the atmosphere that prevailed and can only feel for the staff who must have felt very uneasy. For those who haven’t, follow the links below.

And as the day went on, whatever is said for the placard-carrying contingent who arrived to promote their cause peacefully, substantial numbers of the ‘defenders of England’ got more and more tanked up and spread out around the town provoking mayhem and intimidation.

I was on my way to my pub, the Unicorn, having heard that at 1.30pm, the police dogs had already been out, and was met first by the scene of around 50 coppers surrounding a chanting crowd outside the ‘Metro’ bar that most will know as having been the French Horn, singing “hands up if you hate Pakis” to one of those universal football stadium tunes.

And the rest of my day until about half-past seven was spent on the door of the pub, stopping any of the large groups of what were pretty much, youths, with little reason, you would think, for having the hatred for others they displayed, from coming in and creating havoc.

Hanley wasn’t a nice place to be. Police closed down pubs at the end of town surrounding the EDL, including Wetherspoons itself, The Albion, shock horror, the Burton Stores. And the atmosphere was riot-like as groups attacked the police vans, turning one on its side. And I even had to call my wife-to-be to warn her that it was kicking off round the corner from our house, near the Job Centre Plus, in case she was thinking taking the dog for a walk – an everyday activity that had suddenly become a plausibly more dangerous excursion.

Later on, in Piccadilly, in front of my own premises, I witnessed two isolated bobbies being attacked by a group of lads who could only have been around 18, who had been chanting “E-e-e-d-l, e-e-e-d-l” and trying to incite another group of lads walking up the street into a fight, purely because they didn’t join in the mantra.

Fortunately, the troops arrived in time to stop what actually could have been a much nastier situation, as some of the guys swung and kicked at the officers without any apparent care of the consequences. In fact, it appeared they actually wanted to go home bragging that they got locked up for their sins in Stoke.

Figures released say seventeen arrests were made. But police are now watching CCTV footage which could lead to further arrests.

The police did do a stand up job of dealing with Saturday’s events. They were definitely stand-offish in the way they dealt with protesters who were obviously trying to taunt them, and only got involved when they absolutely had to. Which I’m guessing helped stop what was a pitiful example of human behaviour turn into a full scale riot.

I managed by the end of the day to come off unscarred, having only allowed ‘regulars’ into the pub, but business that evening was definitely down, as people presumably stayed away from Hanley having seen some of the scenes on the news.

But keeping all my loyal customers safe was all I was really particularly bothered about.

I was saddened by the proceedings this weekend in Hanley, I just don’t understand the mentality of people who think that going about their lives in this way is anything to be proud of, and I don’t see where any of it gets them. Apart from the holding cells.

However, there were certainly a great deal of new faces in the town centre. Although, when the council said they were hoping to attract more tourists to Stoke, I don’t think this was really quite what business people in Hanley were expecting.

Oh, and why haven’t I mentioned any opposing demonstration? Because they didn’t cause anyone any offence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0CZnqhtyKQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulR8KzkhQZ0

Christmas Drink Driving Campaign – 177 Arrested

A targeted campaign over Christmas and New Year aimed at getting drink-drivers off Staffordshire’s roads resulted in 177 arrests.

Staffordshire Police carried out 2,132 roadside breath tests between the 1 December 2009 and the 1 January 2010, resulting in a positive test rate of
8.2 per cent.

In all, some 5,000 vehicles were stopped ““ in addition to tests carried out at road traffic collisions.
The number of drivers breath-tested rose from last December’s figure of 1,832, when there were 80 people arrested (4.4 per cent) after being found to be over the legal limit.

Les Dyble, Traffic Management Officer for Staffordshire Police, said: “The number of vehicles stopped as part of this campaign reminded the public that we are serious about tackling drink-driving and the devastating affects it has on society.

“The public’s response to this more targeted enforcement has been very supportive. However the number of positive tests at the roadside is disappointing.

“Not all those drivers arrested during this campaign will end up in court; some would more than likely pass the second, evidential test at the police station.

“However, being arrested at the roadside, being taken to a police station and leaving passengers wondering how they were getting home will hopefully have
a lasting effect on those drivers.”

The force will continue to carry out breath test enforcement in this targeted manner throughout the year. The message is “ËœDon’t Drink and Drive’.

Operation Nemesis – 2 Arrested In Fenton

Police in Stoke-on-Trent have arrested two people at an address in Fenton on suspicion of drugs offences.

Plain clothed officers executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at an address in Goldenhill Road this morning.

A 32-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man were arrested at the address on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A Drugs. They are being questioned at the force’s Northern Area Custody Facility.

Officers also recovered a quantity of what is believed to heroin – with an estimated street value of £1,000 – at the address, along with a number of suspected stolen electrical items.

DS Adrian Martin, from the Proactive Unit of Stoke-on-Trent division, said, ‘This morning’s warrant was executed following information received from members of the public, who were concerned about suspicious activity at the address. Under Operation Nemesis officers will continue to target those suspected of being involved in drugs offences. Drugs will not be tolerated in Stoke-on-Trent. Those involved in such activity will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.’

Longton NPU Commander Hearing Your Views And Making Arrests

Tony and I went to Longton police station this afternoon to interview Inspector Sharrad-Williams.

Hhe told us that while he has been standing under his billboard on Weston Road in Meir, over the past few days he has been impressed with the number of people that have come out to speak to him.

On Monday in the rain he said he spoke to 32 members of the public in the 2 hours while he was in Meir.

Before coming back in to the station to speak to us this afternoon Inspector Sharrad-Williams had spoken to 23 people at his billboard and made one arrest.

Inspector Sharrad-Williams said, “I was with a PCSO this morning chatting to people when a male walked past us, by his actions it was obvious that he didn’t want to talk to us, so I engaged him in conversation then recognised him as somebody who we were on the lookout for as he was wanted for return to jail. It was an opportunity too good to miss, I arrested him and he is now being returned to custody.”

The interview with inspector Sharred-Williams will be published tomorrow.

More dealers meet their Nemesis

By Pits’n’Pots Reporter

A man and a woman have been arrested this morning on suspicion of drugs offences.

Police raided the house at 9.30am in King William Street, Tunstall, following a long-term investigation into drugs activity around the area.

Officers recovered a significant quantity of what is believed to be crack cocaine and remain on the scene to carry out a detailed examination.

A man, aged 18, and a woman, aged 30, were arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs.

They have being taken to the force’s Northern Area Custody Facility at Etruria where they will be questioned.

Inspector Mark Hardern, commander of Tunstall Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU), said:

“We have gathered much intelligence about ongoing drug use in this area, some of which has been provided to us by concerned members of the public.

“The message is all too clear – drugs will not be tolerated in Staffordshire.

“Those involved in drug misuse will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.”

Following this morning’s activity a team of neighbourhood officers will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area to reassure local people.

Anyone with information about the supply of drugs is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 44 55 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

At the same time as being reassuring that the police are doing all they can to combat drugs in Stoke, the sheer number of arrests by Operation Nemesis demonstrates just how big the problem is.

CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION UPDATE

By Matt Taylor

It is now almost two weeks since the arrest of Mark Meredith in connection with the current corruption probe, and another week since councillor Roger Ibbs was taken in as part of the inquiry. And yet, the public still knows little about the nature of the investigation.

Although it has now been confirmed that the alleged corruption involves the previously proposed closure of the Dimensions splash pool, no further details are forthcoming from the police, or the council.

However, what we can assure the electorate of Stoke-on-Trent is that police are moving on with enquiries and are in the process of interviewing more councillors in connection with the complaints.

We cannot name these representatives, who are being questioned without being under caution and have not been accused of any wrongdoing. However, officers are quizzing politicians past and present, including representatives in the north of the city which is home to the much-loved pool.

I hope for the sake of the people’s faith in local politics that this matter is allowed to become more transparent soon – so that we can report the details of what has and hasn’t been alleged.

At Monday night’s BSF meeting at the Britannia Stadium, it was clear that the ambiguity surrounding the case has led to much speculation, with parents shouting various accusations about widespread corruption in the council. And without any hard facts to clear the issue up, this kind of belief will only propagated.