St Helens man, 34, arrested in region-wide drugs raids

Jet skis seized during raids across Merseyside
Jet skis seized during raids across Merseyside

A 34-year-old man from St Helens has been arrested after a series of drugs raids in which jet skis and high-value cars were also seized.

The man, from Sorrell Way, Clock Way, was held early this morning and is currently being questioned at a police station on Merseyside.

Police raid a house as part of an operation which saw a man from St Helens

Police raid a house as part of an operation which saw a man from St Helens

Officers using new and improved proceeds of crime powers executed warrants shortly before 7am today.

A total of 11 people were arrested on suspicion of drugs and money laundering offences and detectives from Titan ordered that high-value goods suspected of having been bought using cash from criminality were immediately seized.

Police believe the raids are the first to use new powers under the Policing and Crime Act 2015.

The new law allows police to seize the assets of suspected criminals on the day they are discovered and apply to the courts for permission to confiscate and sell them quickly.

Previously, police would photograph the assets at the scene and leave them there until given permission by the courts to seize them at a later date.

Officers also seized a drugs and cash during the raids.

Det Chief Insp John Webster, who heads up Titan’s regional asset recovery team, said: “This is all about justice being seen to be done. The public do not like to see people involved in serious and organised crime benefitting from that criminal lifestyle by being able to afford all the nice things that the rest of us have to work hard and work legitimately to earn.

“Why should a drug dealer have the biggest and best TV or car that money can buy if that money has come from drug-dealing and violence?

“Crime on such scales causes massive issues to wider society and innocent people’s lives across the North-west and our unit at Titan exists to put a stop to it by using all the technology, tactics and legislation at our disposal.

“The new POCA powers give us the ability to take things like TVs, computers, jewellery and high-end vehicles from suspects if we believe they have been funded by crime. We can quickly apply to the courts for a confiscation order and then sell those goods and that money will be re-invested back into crime fighting by the government.

“It means criminals not only have the prospect of significant prison sentences but they also face coming out to nothing when they are eventually freed.”

As well as the 34-year-old St Helens man, police also arrested:

A 35-year-old man arrested at Milton Avenue, Widnes

A 50-year-old man arrested in Ludlow Avenue, Swinton

A 44-year-old man arrested in Westley Street, Maesteg, Bridgend

A 34-year-old man in Ash Grove, Wallasey, Wirral

A 26-year-old man in Davenham Court, Wavertree, Liverpool

A 28-year-old man in Rocastle Close, Kensington, Liverpool

A 31-year-old man in Lockerby Road, L7, Liverpool

Two other people have were also arrested at a house on Edge Lane Drive but their details have not yet been released.