Picture the scene: festivities are gaining momentum because Christmas speeds closer, St Albans is blanketed in snow, and I am pulling myself, weary-eyed, from bed to the jolly backing trail of an alarm blaring at 3.30am.
The Herts Ad was invited to join an Operation Retuned drugs bust in action – and from 5am I’m creeping up flights of stairs alongside a troop of police officials to surprise that a apartment in St Albans.
It is scheduled early to catch the suspects off-guard when they’re more likely to be in your home.
This cassette is the culmination of 2 weeks’ values of evaluation and is one of the many taking place across the district, with 70 officers on duty for each stage.
It is not only Herts police working – there are officers out of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit as well as the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.
All of them appeared at Hatfield Remand Court (HRC) on December 7 Class A drugs offences.
They’ll appear via video link at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, January 5 2018.
We’re joining the next phase and it happens very fast – from the time everyone is still upstairs, the battering ram is out, the door is broken inwards, everyone is crying, and the suspect was arrested.
After Donal Kelliher, 48, of Charrington Place, St Albans was arrested – and charged with supplying Class A drugs – an investigation of the apartment ensued with the support of both 12-year-old labrador and veteran sniffer dog, Bertie.
There were six additional arrests on precisely the exact same night, such as Kamrul Islam, 27, of Napier Close, London Colney, along with Philippa Havard, 56, of Ladies Grove.
Our escort, PC Steve Whittaker, said although he discovers these rarer jobs exciting, they’re not why he joined the police : “I actually love everything about the occupation, full-stop, so I’d struggle to say what my favorite part is.
“Some folks state the driving is their favorite, and that can be enjoyable with the blue lights, but I joined the job to attempt to help people and’s why I’m here , that’s why I put the uniform, and also that’so all I think of. ”
He said it was satisfying to hear successful raids because it means their job is making a difference.
Later, St Albans Ch Insp Shane O’Neill stated: “After a six-month operation, we have detained several people we believe have been dealing drugs in St Albans.
“I’d want to thank members of people for providing critical information to the police which was utilized in conjunction with police intellect to perform several medications warrants both now and last week.
&ldquo ;We know many individuals who take medication also commit other sorts of crime also, for example residential burglary, to nourish their habits, so these arrests are particularly significant. ”
He said they expect some of those detained will spend Christmas behind bars.
Adding: “With other agencies, we will also help the younger and more manipulated suspects conquer their dependence and chaotic lifestyles. ”
Back in my desk, I’m happy my job does not call for early begins on a standard basis and thankful police officers are willing to make that sacrifice to the community.
Anyone with information about drug taking or supply should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.