Suspects feel force of Tornado

Police enter a house in Joicey Court, Hartlepool during Operation Tornado.
Police enter a house in Joicey Court, Hartlepool during Operation Tornado.

SUSPECTED drug dealers felt the full force of the law during a high-profile blitz on crime.

Police acting on information from the public swooped on addresses in a Hartlepool street as part of the week-long Operation Tornado.

The Mail joined police for the latest operation yesterday as around 16 officers descended on Joicey Court, behind York Road.

They forced their way into one house through the back garden and within seconds hit another property nearby where two suspects were found.

Sergeant Glen Westmoreland, who led the raids, codenamed Operation Velocity, said: “Information from the public alongside our own work allows us to target the correct people at the right times and we are seeing positive results.”

Yesterday’s raids targeted both men and women suspected of dealing in drugs.

Police said six people were arrested and quizzed by police.

Sgt Westmoreland added: “The perception is possibly that it is usually men but quite a few women are involved in drug activity.”

After barging into the properties in Joicey Court, officers painstakingly searched them from top to bottom.

A white substance was taken from one of the addresses in an evidence bag.

Police dogs were also brought in to sniff out any other suspicious substances.

On Tuesday, police arrested Hartlepool’s current most wanted, the Ace of Hearts, a 34-year-old man on suspicion of criminal damage and handling stolen goods.

He has been bailed on the criminal damage and no further action taken on the handling matter.

Other arrests included the Jack of Hearts, an 18-year-old town man who has been charged with theft and the 10 of Hearts, a 39-year-old Hartlepool man questioned on suspicion of burglary and bailed.

Two men aged 20 and 19, ranked the Nine of Hearts have been picked up on suspicion of fraud and bailed while the Four of Hearts, a 19-year-old who had a warrant out was arrested.

Detective Inspector Anne-Marie Salwey said: “Operation Tornado has been a great success so far.”

l A number of suspects have been questioned and bailed and one charged with possessing a Class B drug and bailed to appear at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court next week.