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More arrests and charges after organised crime raids

John Freeman
Police arrested three more people following early morning raids on houses in Lancaster yesterday as part of an operation targeting organised crime in the city.

Officers swooped on a number of addresses in the Skerton and Ryelands areas early yesterday (Thursday), including Crossgill Place, Owen Road and Mainway, at 7am this morning.

As we previously reported, raids were also carried out Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a lengthy and ongoing investigation into organised crime and money laundering in the city and surrounding areas.

In total 16 people have been arrested; eight people so far have been charged with offences relating to drug supply and proceeds of crime offences.

Yesterday a 19-year-old man, a 22-year-old man and a 23-year-old man, all from Lancaster, were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Aidan Higgins of Dee Road, Lancaster has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, possession with intent to supply heroin and along with with Liam Wiper, of Euston Grove, Morecambe - charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs - was due to appear at Lancaster Magistrates Court yesterday. Andrew Gunningham of Ryelands Road, Lancaster has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to supply class B drugs and will appear at Lancasteron 30th July, along with others, including 23-year-old Katie Noon of Austwick Road, Lancaster who has been charged with a proceeds of crime offence.

In addition Jason Diprose and Anthony Diprose, who were arrested on Tuesday, appeared at court on Wednesday and have been remanded in custody. Anthony Diprose will appear at Preston Crown Court today, Friday.

“This is a focused police response to a community problem," explained Superintendant Richard Spedding of Lancaster police. "We have asked the public to work with us. They have sent us a very clear message that they do not want people who are involved in crime to live among them.”

He added: “In our efforts to fight crime, we rely on communities to help us. We must work together. If you know something, do something – call the police.”

• Anyone with concerns about criminal activity in their neighbourhood should contact police on 01524 63333 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.