17 arrests and 19,000 cigarettes seized in crime crackdown

Detail of Police officers

17 arrests have been made in Lowestoft as part of a police crack down to tackle criminality associated with organised crime. - Credit: PA

Seventeen arrests have been made in Lowestoft as part of a police crackdown to tackle organised crime.

Five warrants were carried out throughout the operation from April 25 to April 29 as police seized more than 19,000 cigarettes and 14.21kg of hand-rolling tobacco by HMRC and Suffolk officers in four different incidents.

Officers conducted arrests and warrants, organised dedicated patrols and gathered intelligence in the area to disrupt criminality and support some of the areas most vulnerable residents who are most impacted by this activity.

The week was also used to gather important intelligence about continued criminality in Lowestoft and the surrounding area.

Chief Inspector Sarsfield Donohue said: “This operation has successfully disrupted organised criminality that is taking place within our communities. We will do whatever we can to stop those benefitting from illegal activity in our area and ultimately bring those responsible to justice.

"It is vital we send out a clear and very visible message that this will not be tolerated, we will work as a force and with partner agencies to find those responsible and ensure they are dealt with robustly.

“Weeks of action such as this allow us to act on existing intelligence and uncover new intelligence which we will utilise to continue to disrupt criminals in and around Lowestoft."

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During the week, police was supported by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Police Service, UK Visas and Immigration Trading Standards, and East Suffolk Council.

There was also a Roads and Armed Policing Team day of action that took place on Wednesday, April 27.

This resulted in seven arrests, eight vehicles being seized, 47 Traffic Offence Reports being given, and 14 searches being carried out.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner, said: “These results are excellent. Tackling organised crime groups is so crucial for keeping Suffolk safe.

"The criminals involved do huge harm to businesses, individuals and whole communities and need to be caught and prosecuted and I’d like to thank all the agencies involved in making the operation such a success.

“The results show how crucial and effective these operations are which is why they will be repeated whenever necessary.”