Weapons and drugs seized as police target organised crime groups across East Lancashire

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Organised criminal groups (OCGs) in East Lancashire who use extreme violence and weapons to ‘tax’ rival gangs by stealing their cannabis crops, are being targeted by police.

Operation Coolant has seen officers disrupting OCG activity by acting on intelligence to target properties and individuals linked to cannabis cultivation and taxings.

This work has meant that police have seized grows before rival groups can get to them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Since the operation began last month cannabis plants with a street value of between £2m. to £3m., as well as weapons including machetes and firearms have been seized.

A gun seized in raids across East LancashireA gun seized in raids across East Lancashire
A gun seized in raids across East Lancashire

More than 50 cannabis farms in properties across East Lancashire, including Burnley, Clitheroe, Brierfield, Nelson and Colne have been dismantled.

Police have arrested 19 people – including four people involved in a suspected drugs taxing in progress in Burnley, who were pursued by officers and later arrested in Rishton. A machete was recovered during that incident.

As part of Operation Alberta, which falls under the umbrella of Op Coolant and is the pursuit of those linked to suspected drugs taxings, 13 people have been arrested across Burnley and Pendle. Drugs, weapons, cash and phones have also been seized.

Read More
Police pledge to continue fight against drug crime after 64 cannabis plants foun...
Weapons seized by police in raids across East LancashireWeapons seized by police in raids across East Lancashire
Weapons seized by police in raids across East Lancashire

So far 14 people have been charged as part of Op Coolant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As well as actively disrupting criminals and seizing criminal property, Op Coolant is focused on protecting and reassuring the public.

Det. Chief Insp Tim Brown, of East Division, said: “Fundamentally, this operation is about preventing the violence that is brought about by the existence of cannabis grows.

"Targeting the grows is not just about targeting those who are responsible for this type of organised criminality, but equally disrupting those who would tax them using violence and weapons. Put simply, if there are no cannabis grows then there can be no violence associated with them.

“I know people have differing views on cannabis cultivation, however I want to be clear that these grows are strongly linked to organised crime and in turn exploitation, human trafficking, violence and Class A drugs supply.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“East Lancashire is not and should not be seen as a safe place to operate for criminal gangs. Op Coolant is very much an ongoing operation and with it we will continue to relentlessly pursue offenders and protect our communities.”

Report any suspicious activity by emailing [email protected] or by calling 101.