The Aylesbury Stronghold team which operates under the Thames Valley Police umbrella received an award last Wednesday (20 April).
Thames Valley Police announced the team had been earmarked for special recognition yesterday (28 April), with a force spokesperson praising its relentlessness.
Numerous officers were singled out for praise and recognition at the latest Chief Constable’s Awards Ceremony.
The officers who responded to a fatal M40 car crash, which was tried at Aylesbury Crown Court were championed.
While officers sent to HS2 protest sites, were rewarded for persevering through a uniquely challenging situation.
One incident that the stronghold team dealt with that Thames Valley Police wants to acknowledge, took place back in May 2020.
Officers from the team spotted a car that seemed out of place, they suspected drug deals might be occurring within the vehicle.
When officers began to approach the car, the driver sped off through the busy streets of Aylesbury.
They withdrew to allow Roads Policing to safely pursue the vehicle, while making his getaway the suspected dealer started throwing drugs out of the window.
Eventually officers tracked the man down, a search revealed he was carrying a stun gun.
Following a police investigation the offender was sentenced to eight years in jail.
Thames Valley Police also highlights another example of quality policing from the Aylesbury team.
This incident happened in December 2020, when the team saw a known drug user who bolted as soon as he spotted the police.
He was chased down and detained just as he was about to enter his home.
Officers entered the property discovering a 16-year-old boy surrounded by drugs and weapons, Thames Valley Police state they also found a ‘Rambo’ style knife.
He was put into police custody, who discussed the matter with his family, his involvement in illegal drugs trade was linked to supporting his terminally-ill mother, Thames Valley Police say.
Thames Valley Police report that the boy is still receiving support to steer him away from crime, a spokesman said: “The team’s actions have undoubtedly saved the boy’s life.”
Police figures estimate that the team has seized approximately 4.85kg of drugs and just over £100,000.
Also, in excess of 70 rounds of live ammunition, stun guns, air weapons and dozens of knives, have been seized.
More than 130 people have been arrested, with half of them having been charged and sentenced, totalling 156 years.
Seventeen vulnerable people have been referred to the national modern slavery support programme and nine county drug lines have not returned to the area following the team’s intervention.
PC Sam West, from the team, said, “It was a real privilege to work with the other members of this team and this showed in the real successes we achieved. To be recognised for these is a real privilege.”
PC Ben McNeill added: “I feel honoured that our hard work as a team has been noticed and that we have been awarded for our efforts against drug dealers.”