54 arrested in swoop on suspected drug dealers

Sellers of the Big Issue were among 54 people arrested by Merseyside Police today in a crackdown on drug dealing in Liverpool city centre.

Operation Manton targeted suspected drug dealers and drug users and 50 men and four women were arrested following a 15-month long investigation by Merseyside Police into drug dealing on the city's streets. Police officers also recovered 29 wraps of Class A drugs and 40 wraps of crack cocaine, a replica handgun, a sword and a number of knives.

Amongst those arrested today are a number of homeless people and Big Issue sellers.

The operation involved approximately 200 Merseyside Police Officers and is supported by the Drug Alcohol Action Team (DAAT).

Superintendent Alan Cooper, who is in charge of operations at Liverpool North, said: "This operation is the culmination of a comprehensive investigation, which we embarked upon following concerns raised by city centre businesses, shoppers and general community.

"It soon became apparent that the main concern would centre upon aggressive begging and acquisitive crime, but it was clear that many of the people who were being complained about were also dealing in drugs on the city's streets."

Superintendent Cooper added: "We will never be complacent about drug dealing and we are determined to break the link between drugs and crime."

Police have appealed to anyone who has any information about crime or drug dealing in the city centre to contact them.

Paul Rice, City Centre Manager, said: "This is a major step forward in creating a cleaner, safer and, more attractive city centre. All of our surveys with both businesses and city centre users over the last couple of years have highlighted the activities of aggressive beggars as the major detraction from the city centre."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 September 2015
Further Six Arrested In No Deal Operation In Birmingham
A further six people have been arrested as part of an ongoing operation targeting suspected drug dealers in Birmingham. Police carried out a series of dawn raids on Thursday 24 September, arresting a 17-year-old man, two 19-year-olds and three men aged 21, 26 and 47.
15 October 2015
14 Arrested In Dawn Raids Across Bristol
Fourteen men have been arrested in a series of dawn raids in Bristol. The men, aged between 15 and 63, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply drugs. Police said that the raids are part of an ongoing drugs investigation in Bristol.
17 April 2009
Gun Found During Leeds Drugs Swoop
Police in North East Leeds have seized a revolver and a large quantity of class A heroin following two raids on properties in the Chapeltown and Meanwood areas of the city. Officers working as part of Operation Quartz - tasked with targeting drug dealers across the city - raided a property off Potternewton Lane on Wednesday.
23 July 2008
Drug Abuse Accounts For 'A Third Of Death', Says Report
Drug abuse accounts for a third of the deaths behind Scotland's higher mortality rate, according to a study published on bmj.com. Death rates in Scotland are higher than in England and Wales and the difference between the nations is increasing. Traditionally this has been blamed on the higher levels of deprivation in Scotland.
23 May 2006
Panel supports drug 'shooting galleries'
Drug consumption rooms should be given a trial in Britain, a panel of experts has said.