Large-scale police seizure in Reading

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    POLICE have seized more than £25,000 of heroin and cocaine in co-ordinated swoops across the Reading area.
    Officers - working as part of Operation Falcon - also recovered £5,000 worth of cannabis,£2,000 cash, drugs paraphernalia, several mobile phones and a firearm.
    Six people, including a 17-year-old girl, have been arrested and bailed to reappear at Reading police station next month and two other men have been charged with drugs offences.
    The addresses included five houses in Litton Road, Whitley,a house in Salcombe Road, in Whitley, properties in Southcote and the Coral bookmakers in Oxford Road, west Reading, and Northumberland Avenue in Whitley.
    These two betting shops were used as meeting points for dealers, but there is no suggestion staff had any idea what was going on.

    Det Sgt Dave Turton said: "This was a significant amount, certainly the largest amount seized in the last few raids I have been on.
    "Anywhere there is crack being dealt, there is usually a high level of organised crime involved."
    "For a lot of residents we were a welcome sight."
    In one property in Litton Road, officers discovered a "fist-sized lump" of crack cocaine in a freezer, an amount likely to net dealers in excess of £10,000.
    A substantial block of heroin was also found at the same address.
    Det Sgt Turton said: "None of the drugs we found were particularly well hidden."
    The raids, involving up to 30 officers each day, were carried out last week.
    Chief Inspector Shaun Virtue said: "The raids were successful in that we recovered a lot of Class A drugs and built on our intelligence.
    "They were carried out after intelligence from our officers on the ground, information from the public and covert surveillance.
    "Whitley does have some drug problems - because of the demographic, people there are more vulnerable.
    "A lot of young people are often used as runners. Dealers don't know any boundaries and they target vulnerable people. Teenagers are easy targets."
    Drugs raids will continue throughout the year.
    Robert Finlay, 23, of Burghfield Road, Southcote, appeared before Reading magistrates on Saturday charged with possession and intent to supply Class A drugs.
    Leon Edwards, 25, from Lulworth Road, Whitley, is appearing at Reading magistrates' court tomorrow (Thursday) accused of possessing Class A drugs.

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