During the past few months, police have vowed to crack down on drug offences and knife crime across the city.
As part of Operation Remedy, officers have been carrying out a series of raids and have seized drugs with an estimated street value of more than £400,000.
On Thursday (July 4), a Bristol Live reporter was invited to join police officers as they executed a warrant at a property in East Bristol.
Reporters were told to meet at Kenneth Steele House, a police station in the industrial suburb of St Philip’s Marsh, in the early hours of the morning.
Following a confidential briefing at around 6.30am, two police vans and a car departed the station, headed for a street near the city centre.
Before leaving, there’s an undeniable feeling of excitement in the air as Chief Constable Andy Marsh tells reporters: “We’re apprehending dangerous criminals today.”
Barely 10 minutes after leaving, the vans pull up in Wade Street and a dozen or so police officers jump out and enter a nearby flat.
It’s oddly quiet as the police officers storm up the stairs and gather outside a front door. Seconds later, one officer armed with an enforcer – also known as ‘a big red key’ – sends the door flying off its hinges.
Officers pile into the property and order the startled occupant to stay where his. Meanwhile reporters are left outside, unable to enter the property.
The only action outside for several minutes are startled neighbours walked passed the scene, perplexed by the police officers, TV crews and reporters that have assembled metres from their front doors.
Soon enough, a man is taken away from the property in handcuffs and a bag of “controlled substances” is later removed from the flat.
Police confirmed that afternoon a 46-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of drugs-related offences.
Speaking to Bristol Live at the scene, Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “Today is business as usual for Operation Remedy. We’re focused on tackling burglary, drug dealing and knife crime so today is about getting on that front foot.”
On whether the public had lost faith in the police due to years of cuts, he said: “I don’t think the public have lost confidence but I think the public would like to see us do more to tackle drug dealing and knife crime.”
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