57 people arrested during operation to disrupt organised crime and gangs in Huddersfield (28 May 2019)

A large-scale operation aimed at disrupting organised crime and gang activity in Huddersfield has seen 57 people arrested over the past few months.

Over 25 nights of activity, Kirklees District Police carried out an intensive operation targeting gangs that have been causing the most harm in the local communities.

57 people were arrested for drugs offences, possession of weapons and violent offences. As well as a number of arrests for individuals who breached their gang injunctions.

Kirklees District Police were supported by armed officers, police intercept team and NPT teams and acted on intelligence and located and disrupted criminals using powers of stop, check and search.

Significant pieces of intelligence were also gathered throughout the operation which is helping to develop a number of complex prosecution cases that will offer sustained protect to communities by putting gang members in prison for lengthy sentences on conviction.

Officers recovered drugs and several thousand pounds worth of cash as well as a number of weapons, including those pictured.

A further 53 people were subject to other interventions such as being reported for summons and having vehicle seized.

The operation was funded by West Yorkshire Police's POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) fund which takes money and assets away from criminal and reinvests it back into positive community projects.

Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney, who led the operation, said: "We hope this operation will serve to provide some reassurance to the law-abiding majority of people in Huddersfield and send a very clear deterrent message to those who think they can flout the law without having to face the consequences.

"The supply of illegal drugs fuels violent crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities and damages and destroys the lives of those who take them and their families. In Kirklees, we remain firmly committed to doing everything we can alongside our partner agencies to tackle the issue and keep people safe. In addition to enforcement we use a range of prevention and rehabilitation schemes too. This operation is coming again soon.

"Information from the community continues to play a vital role in the success of this work and we would urge anyone who knows anything that could assist us to get in touch, anonymously if needed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "This operation has achieved impressive results, making a real difference in the local area and to the communities affected. My thanks and appreciation go to all the officers and staff involved.

"This is a very effective use of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) monies. It's very satisfying to know that these extra resources were available for this operation as a direct result of money taken away from criminals in similar circumstances and sends out a clear message.

"My Safer Communities Fund, which is also funded through POCA monies, continues to provide grants to local community organisations looking to deliver prevention and early intervention initiatives across a range crime and community safety issues. Violent crime, drugs and alcohol misuse and diversionary activities for young people have been a particular focus for the fund recently with the next round of grants due to be distributed and publicised in September."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019