Police fire warning shots at Norwich drugs dealers and thieves

Police have fired a warning shot at drugs dealers and thieves in Norwich as they continue to carry out raids across the city.

Officers from Bethel Street police station carried out three warrants in the West Earlham area yesterday in a bid to find items stolen from a garden centre and bikes from the city.

It followed up on a very successful raid on a property in Springbank, Lakenham, on the previous day, when about 1kilo of cannabis, worth about �6,000, was seized.

Earlier in the week a joint operation carried out across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex resulted in the seizure of about �1m worth of cannabis and eight people were charged across the region.

While yesterday's raids were less successful and no stolen property was recovered, police said taking such action disrupted criminal activity while sending a warning to those involved.

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Norwich Chief Inspector Dennis Lacey said: 'These warrants form part of an ongoing operation to target and disrupt those suspected of being involved in burglaries and the handling of stolen property.

'The action taken can only be positive in sending a clear message that this type of criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and that we will act on information passed to us.'

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As reported, as part of a clamp down on rising bicycle thefts, police this month are stopping anyone with a bike who they believe to be suspicious and asking for proof of ownership. Anyone who fails to do so could have their bike seized and face arrest if it is stolen.

More than 800 bikes, collectively worth an estimated �204,750, have been stolen in Norwich since the beginning of the year.

Officers believe many stolen bikes are still in the area, with culprits suspected of selling them on to friends or associates for as little as �10, when many are worth around �500.

During the campaign officers will also be checking racks to make sure bikes are being left locked and secured.

Have you got a crime story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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