Police patrols see 19 weapons taken off Bedfordshire’s streets
Main article content
Our dedicated Sparkler patrols have seized cash, drugs and two firearms in their ongoing efforts to disrupt gang activity and prevent violent crime.
Led by the force’s Boson guns and gangs unit, with the support of other teams, Sparkler patrols aim to tackle the root causes of violence such as drug dealing and gang activity.
Over the past year, officers seized around £3,000 of Class A and Class B drugs, 19 offensive weapons including firearms and knives, as well as making 64 arrests following stop and searches. In November alone, officers spent just over 200 hours on Sparkler patrols.
In the team’s first success of 2023, Bedfordshire Police made their largest single seizure to date after officers stopped a vehicle in Luton on Wednesday (4 January) and seized a gun, knife and drugs. A man in his 20s was subsequently arrested.
Further searches linked to this arrest uncovered almost £20,000 in cash, a second firearm, additional ammunition and a number of high value items.
As a result of both searches, the man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition without a certificate and possession of criminal property.
Detective Inspector Tom Stean, from Bedfordshire Police’s Boson guns and gangs team, said: “This is an incredible display of proactive policing, with officers using their training, knowledge and experience to get some serious weapons off the streets.
“The effectiveness of our Sparkler patrols is attributed to good police work and sound information that is gathered and filtered by our intelligence team. Their insight informs where our officers patrol and ensures good results like we have seen here.
“Our message remains the same: we simply have no tolerance for gangs and their subsequent illegal activity. We will continue to do our utmost to disrupt their activities and put them before the courts.”
For more information about the response to organised crime in Bedfordshire and to get support please visit the Bedfordshire Against Violence and Exploitation website at bavex.co.uk