Drugs worth £72,000 and gun seized in less than 24 hours by new organised crime taskforce
Birmingham’s new Organised Crime Team has taken drugs worth £72,000 and a gun off the streets with two major recoveries less than 24 hours apart.
Acting on intelligence, officers from the team forced their way into a parked car in the Alum Rock area on Friday night and recovered what is believed to be heroin.
The car has been taken away for forensic testing.
Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, in an unconnected development, a member of the public found a bag containing a gun dumped in Bordesley Green.
The .44 calibre revolver, believed to date from the 18th century, is capable of firing live ammunition and will now be sent for testing at the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) to see if it has been used in crime.
The major seizures are the latest success for the Birmingham Organised Crime Team, which doubled its strength in May to underline the force’s determination to tackle gangs.
Twenty officers have been drafted into the specialist taskforce in a move that will enhance its capability to better understand the make-up of gangs, disrupt their activity and strike swiftly to make arrests.
But members of the team will also work with probation, youth workers and communities to divert vulnerable young people away from exploitation by organised criminals, and offer improved life choices.
Sgt Toney Webb, from the team, said: “These were two excellent recoveries – the drugs would have caused untold misery on the streets, and every time we recover a gun we are potentially saving lives.
“There will be people involved in organised crime who will be feeling these losses today, and we are determined to keep up that pressure.”
The discovery of the gun came on the day we joined a national two week firearms surrender led by NABIS. (Click here for the full story).
The surrender runs until Saturday 4 August, encouraging members of the public to hand in any firearms , including guns, ammunition, stunguns and pepper spray to local police stations.
The last local surrender in May 2018 saw 115 firearms surrendered, comprising of over 30 lethal firearms and 45 air weapons. During the 2017 national surrender , more than 9,500 items were handed in across the country.
So far this year, the force has taken 46 viable firearms off the streets - this does not include firearms handed in to us - amid 68 confirmed firearms discharges in the same period.