UPDATED: As reported by IslandEcho earlier today, Police have this morning carried out a number of raids relating to the supply and sale of illegal drugs.
Around 5 Police vans were witnessed to be heading into Ryde Town at around 07:00 this morning, with several reports of a large Police presence in the High Street and Swanmore Road areas.
Meanwhile, a number of officers were witnessed at two properties in Queen Bower near Apse Heath.
Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed that a number of search warrants have been executed at addresses across the Island.
UPDATE @ 17:30 – No further information has been released by Hampshire Constabulary this afternoon as expected, however Island Echo understand raids also took place on Swanmore Road in Ryde, Oakvale in Oakfield and Grove Road, Ventnor.
At an address in Ryde, Police are said to have raided the wrong property giving one woman a rude awakening.
UPDATE THURSDAY @ 13:40 – Police have today confirmed that seven people have been charged with a variety of drug-related offences following yesterday’s raids across the Isle of Wight, part of Operation Swordtail.
Zac Williams, 25, Jason Flynn, 26, Jason Williams, 24, Jason Long, 33, Tristan Nicholls, 28, and James Davis, 27 have all been charged, alongside Kerry Barton aged 28.
It has also been confirmed that officers, believed to be from Hampshire Constabulary’s Force Support Unit, forced entry into an unrelated property on Swanmore Road, as revealed by Island Echo yesterday.
A local Ryde woman was startled when Police officers forced their way into her property near to the junction with Osborne Road, before realising they were at the wrong address. The woman, who Island Echo are not naming, received a bunch of flowers from the Police as a way of an apology. Investigations are now taking place to determine what led this error to occur.
The door can be seen this morning to be boarded up while replacement glass is sought.
Senior investigating officer, DI Gary Hill said:
“Yesterdays day of action was part of Hampshire Constabulary’s ongoing approach to keeping the island a hostile environment for suspected criminals. Thanks for support from the public
“All the police officers and staff involved in today’s warrants would like to thank members of the public for their support and understanding.
“We want the Isle of Wight to become an even safer place following an eleven (11) per cent reduction in all crime across the district since April 2013 (621 fewer crimes) when compared to the same eight months last year.
“The co-operation of the law-abiding community is crucial to ensure our work is always focused in the right places at the right times.”
Anyone with information about illegal drugs affecting the community can contact police by phoning 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.