WAR ON DRUGS: Day one of Operation Edison and police raids to ‘disrupt’ drug dealing across East Cambridgeshire

Police conduct searches of suspected drug users outside the property. Operation Edison, Cambridgeshi

Police conduct searches of suspected drug users outside the property. Operation Edison, Cambridgeshire Police conduct drug warrants at various addresses in Cambridgeshire,17 Springhead Lane, Ely26/04/2016. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: Terry Harris Photography

Suspected drug dealers across East Cambridgeshire were targeted in a series of police raids this week.

Operation Edison, spearheaded by Sgt Phil Priestley, aimed to ‘impact the supply of controlled drugs’ in the district.

Four homes - one in Ely, two in Soham and one in Littleport - felt the full force of the law on consecutive days as officers smashed in doors, carried out thorough searches and made arrests.

The first raid saw Sgt Priestley together with plain clothes officers and scenes of crimes officers raid a first floor flat in Springhead Lane, Ely on Tuesday morning.

Sgt Priestley explained officers had gleaned information that class A drugs including heroin were being supplied by a woman at the address.


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As officers used a ramming device to quickly gain access to the flat, which had a welcome mat saying ‘home sweet home’ just inside the front door, the woman gave a shout.

The woman occupant, who was in bed as officers broke in at around 11am, was searched and voluntarily handed over a plastic ‘Kinder’ egg containing three wraps, which she said each contained heroin worth £20.

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She could be heard laughing and chatting with officers as they searched her home.

Officers then proceeded to search the premises and the woman was arrested suspicion of possessing heroin and handling stolen goods.

She was taken to King’s Lynn Police Investigation Centre.

Lisa Riches, of Springhead Lane, was later charged with possession of a controlled drug (Class A heroin – 1 gram) and she will appear at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on May 10.

She denied handling stolen goods and has been bailed for that offence pending inquiries with local stores.

A man was also stopped and handcuffed by officers during the morning’s activities but he was released a short while later after being searched.

PCSO Ian Hawkins put ‘calling cards’ through neighbouring residents’ doors explaining police had carried out action in the vicinity by executing a search warrant and saying anyone with concerns should contact 101.

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