Police warn crime gangs: 'We'll be coming to chap your door'

ORGANISED criminal gangs have been warned there is nowhere for them to hide.

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Criminal gangs have been warned there is nowhere to hide
Criminal gangs have been warned there is nowhere to hide

Police smashed into the homes of suspects in a series of raids aimed at targeting serious and organised crime.

The operation - part of a Glasgow-wide crackdown on crime - involved properties in Pollok and Nitshill.

It followed months of intelligence gathering and planning in an attempt to disrupt the activity of crime gangs.

Chief Inspector Ann Bell led the latest phase of Operation Relay, a campaign which aims to target crime groups, violence and anti-social behaviour.

Today she warned thugs: "We'll be coming to chap your door.

"Criminals should be the ones looking over their shoulder, not law-abiding citizens."

The Evening Times was given exclusive access to yesterday's raid and joined around 20 officers for the latest operation.

CID and uniformed officers assembled at Pollok police station at 7am, before being split into teams and setting off in unmarked cars to various addresses.

Officers then rushed into one home in Househillwood Road and, after an extensive search, recovered what was believed to be cannabis.They also seized a sum of cash.

Police said a 36-year-old male was arrested in connection with alleged drugs offences.

At the same time, dozens of officers were ramming in doors and executing warrants across the South Side neighbourhood.

A 17-year-old male was arrested in connection with an alleged serious assault.

A 23-year-old man was detained in connection with alleged domestic abuse.

Meanwhile, another man was arrested for an alleged robbery.

A 26-year-old man was detained for theft while a 41-year-old was arrested for the alleged theft of a push bike.

The raids were part of a two-month period of intense activity.

Chief Inspector Bell, area commander for Pollok and Pollokshaws, said: "This operation is all about taking action on the community's concerns. But it's also about building trust with the community.

"People need to see that we are acting on the information we give us.

"Residents will notice increased activity in their area and we hope they can approach officers with concerns.

"Pollok is a safe place to live, work, and play. But if you're involved in drug dealing, domestic abuse, violence, or anti-social behaviour, we will target you."

In the past year, incidents of disorder in Pollok have fallen by more than 20%.

However, senior officers said they would not be complacent and will continue to target yobs intent on causing trouble.

Mounted police were drafted in to help curb anti-social behaviour in the area.

Officers on horseback went on patrol around the grounds of Househill Park, where youngsters from several nearby communities congregate.

The operation, staged last night, was aimed at providing public reassurance in the area.

A mobile police office was also stationed at the park, as part of the initiative is aimed at tackling alcohol abuse and disorder.

Officers also visited off-licences to advise staff on issues such as selling alcohol to underage kids.

Police also vowed to crackdown on people acting as "agents" for youngsters.

Chief Inspector Bell added: "Anti-social behaviour affects the whole community. We are sharing information with our partners and working very closely with local housing associations.

"But if there is something happening in your community, you have to make police aware.

"Don't assume we know. And don't wait until it is too late.If you see something suspicious, or anti-social behaviour, in your street, get in touch."

Operation Relay is aimed at violent criminals, gangs and serious and organised crime groups.

It will run until May 31, with officers taking action in an attempt to reduce crime at every level.

As well as stamping out violence and disrupting organised crime, officers want to make communities safer.

Reassuring the public is a key part of the initiative.

Extra resources have been drafted in and every available officer was involved in the operation.

Detective Inspector Tom McKean said: "We need people to phone in, email, or approach an officer and tell us what is happening.

"We need that information to get warrants, make arrests, recover drugs, and keep people safe."

Earlier this month, we revealed officers nabbed more than 400 people for a range of offences during the first phase of Operation Relay.

More than £150,000 worth of drugs and £100,000 of counterfeit goods have been seized.

One major coup was the discovery of more than £65,000 worth of cocaine seized from a house in Partick, in Glasgow's West End.

Officers also recovered £30,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis from a house in Cathcart.

A 54-year-old man was arrested in connection with the find.

Hundreds of illegally downloaded songs are understood to be among the £100,000 worth of counterfeit goods seized by officers.

Superintendent Thom McLoughlin said: "Operation Relay makes it difficult for criminals to operate and disrupts any serious and organised crime."

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