Four held after police mount dawn raids

DI Gary Brooks

DI Gary Brooks

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FOUR people are being held by police after homes were targeted in a series of dawn raids.

A 45-year-old man from Macauley Avenue, Hawes Side, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to launder money and a 23-year-old woman was arrested on Wyresdale Avenue, Bispham, for alleged money laundering.

Two arrests were also made in Newton, near Kirkham, as officers from Lancashire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit carried out the raids at 7am yesterday.

A 42-year-old man from Kirkham and a 31-year-old woman from Newton, were both arrested at Grange Lane, Newton, for conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to handle stolen goods and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

The operation – code named Redpoll – also saw stolen plant machinery seized from Grange Lane including an excavator and a mini digger as part of a major investigation into criminal activity across Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside.

Det Insp Gary Brooks (pictured), from Lancashire Police’s serious and organised crime unit, said: “This is part of an ongoing operation that demonstrates our commitment to effectively targeting and prosecuting organised criminals, with the intention of then stripping them of their ill-gotten assets.

He added: “As the activities of serious and organised criminals can have a dramatic effect on our communities, we always ask that residents contact us if they have information that will enable us to remove these offenders from our streets.”

The raids were carried out throughout Lancashire and search warrants were executed at addresses in Preston, Bolton, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Seven men and two women were arrested in total on suspicion of money laundering, theft, handling stolen goods and fraud offences.

They were today being questioned at police stations across Lancashire.

Anyone with information about crime or details about offences is urged to contact Lancashire Police on 0845 125 3545 or the special Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.