Police launch dawn raids on Wigan homes in an organised crime crackdown

Some £350,000 worth of drugs have been recovered in early morning raids as part of major crack-down on organised crime groups across Greater Manchester.

By Sian Jones
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 2:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 2:19 pm

Officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Group (SOCG), executed 12 warrants across Wigan, Bolton and Bury on the morning of Wednesday June 22 as part of Operation Byron – one of the force’s many investigations into the large scale sale and distribution of controlled drugs in the city-region.

As a result of the raids, a total of nine people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, including eight men and one woman ranging in age from 19 to 51 years old.

They remain in custody for questioning.

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A large quantity of drugs were seized

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Det Insp Justin Bryant, of GMPs Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: “This was a fantastic result this morning with just over £350,000 worth of drugs seized as well as cash, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia from the properties we raided.

"Op Byron was set up in 2021 and is an ongoing investigation with hours of meticulous work undertaken by the team to pinpoint offenders and build up enough evidence to be able to execute warrants and bring these criminals to justice.”

“As part of the investigation we have recovered hundreds of messages from organised crime group members using ‘Encrochat’ – the encrypted messaging service used almost exclusively by criminals in a bid to evade police, which has allowed us to further identify the offenders.

Some of the drugs seized

“Drugs feature across many different types of crime, from burglary and antisocial behaviour to criminal exploitation and modern day slavery, to name but a few. It is a priority therefore for us to disrupt the drugs market through early intervention and diversion to stop this type of crime from ruining our communities.

“If you spot something or have information that might help us take dealers off the streets please come forward."

Anyone with information on organised crime is urged to report it to police via 101 or 999 in an emergency.

People can also report it online or via their Live Chat service at https://www.gmp.police.uk/.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.