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Welfare checks lead to multiple weapons seized and teenager found with knife

We have launched a new campaign called ‘Knife crime: A new way forward’ to help educate young people to stay away from knife crime
We have launched a new campaign called ‘Knife crime: A new way forward’ to help educate young people to stay away from knife crime.

A proactive police operation to disrupt the supply of drugs and safeguard vulnerable people was carried out by neighbourhood officers in Bristol last week.

Officers from the Henbury and Brentry beat team carried out welfare visits at a number of addresses of people known to be at risk of cuckooing.

‘Cuckooing’ is the term used for when drug dealers use violence, exploitation and intimidation to take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.

The operation led to the seizure of more than a dozen weapons including two hammers, a knuckleduster, a baseball bat, a machete and multiple knives.

Officers also arrested a 15-year-old boy after finding a knife in his pocket. He was later released under investigation to allow for further enquiries to be carried out.

Sergeant Richard Jones said: “We will not stand by and wait for vulnerable people to be targeted by criminals who want to exploit them.

“We regularly conduct welfare visits like these to ensure those susceptible to cuckooing know support is available to them and to identify anyone who may be looking to taking advantage of them.

“Last week’s operation demonstrates our continued to determination to make the area a hostile environment for drug dealers to operate in and I hope it reassures anyone concerned about such activity that we are actively looking to intervene.”

Sgt Jones added: “It’s always concerning when children are found in possession of lethal weapons and while we cannot ignore offences, we will always look to educate young people about the potential consequences of their actions as well as help and direct them away from crime.”

For advice on how to support young people who might be involved in knife crime visit the knife crime section of our website.

If you suspect drug dealing is taking place in your area, please contact us via 101.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.