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“There’s a lot of dodgy characters hanging around”: Neighbours speak out as police arrest six in new wave of Norwich drugs raids

PUBLISHED: 20:11 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 24 March 2017

Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Geraldine Scott

Police arrested six people in Norwich yesterday in their latest attempt to combat possession and distribution of Class A drugs in Norfolk as part of Operation Gravity.

Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott

As more than 22 police officers swooped on William White Place in the city, neighbours James Bailey and Wayne, who did not want to give his last name, both said they were relieved to see police carrying out the raids.

Wayne, who had been living in the block of flats since last July, said: “There’s a lot of dodgy characters hanging around outside the laundry room a lot of the time, we just want to have a quiet life and keep ourselves to ourselves, it is intimidating.”

MORE: ‘They threatened to shoot me’, says woman forced to abandon her Wisbech home as London drug dealers move in

Mr Bailey, who had lived there around six years, added: “When there’s no trouble it’s a lovely place to live, and 57 out of the 60 flats are friendly.”

Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott Police raids at William White Place, Norwich, as part of Operation Gravity. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green, who accompanied police, said he was confident the message was getting through to the public, but also to the drug dealers themselves.

And Mr Green, who took care of a dog found in one of the properties while it was searched, said he had every confidence in officers carrying out the operation.

MORE: ’They threaten to use petrol bombs,’ says vulnerable woman whose Norwich home was taken over by drug dealers

Chief Inspector Nick Paling, leading the searches, said: “We were faced with quite a chaotic scene because of the issues around the I’ve used high-level tactics.

“I’ve used what members of the public would describe as riot gear, they’ve been wearing helmets with their face visors down and using shields but they’ve deployed in quite a rapid and dynamic manor and we’ve negated any threat towards the coppers really quickly.”

MORE: Six arrested in latest round of Operation Gravity raids in Norwich

Illegal drug activity and associated crime can have a detrimental effect on communities and officers would like to reassure residents that they will continue to act on information provided.

Anyone with information about illegal drugs activity should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101; however, if you have information but want to stay anonymous you can also contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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