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Officers in the Rochdale Challenger Team took part in a number of simultaneous warrants across Greater Manchester, including Middleton this morning, Wednesday 9 November 2022, following a Rochdale district-led investigation into modern slavery and conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences.
Suspect being led away following arrest
The investigation was supported by specialist officers from GMP’s Force County Lines team and had identified a number of vulnerable adults who were being subjected to an horrific campaign of intimidation by an urban street gang – who had also captured the market share of class A drugs supply in the area.
The gang has ruled by fear, intimidation, threat and violence, to enslave vulnerable adults to do their bidding.
Officers also discovered individuals who had been forced to produce and deal class A drugs, and whose premises have been subjected to ‘cuckooing’ – where criminal gang members have taken over their homes and, on some occasions, forced terrified occupants to flee.
As a result of this morning’s warrants, three dangerous individuals were arrested and a number of weapons, such as knives, an axe and machetes were recovered. A number of telecommunication devices were also seized.
On his way to custody
DS Gabe Gibson of Rochdale Challenger Organised Crime Team said: “The brazen behaviour of this group has to be seen to be believed. They had not only established a busy drug line and captured the market share of class A drugs supply but had also preyed upon the vulnerable addicts they serve, enslaving and immersing them into their egregious criminal practices.
“Today’s arrests will serve as a reminder that such conduct will not be tolerated and will be met with an extremely robust policing response. Police and partner agencies will continue to work together to create an untenable environment for such criminal groups to operate in and will proactively target those who wish to undermine this work.
“Our investigations into these urban street gangs are ongoing, and we would ask anyone with any information to contact us via 101 or by the Live Chat function on our website, gmp.police.uk. You can also speak to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111. In the event of an emergency, always dial 999.”