Drugs and knuckleduster seized and two arrested as police crackdown on criminals using trains in East Herts
Two men were arrested and drugs and a weapon were seized in a police operation at four railway stations in East Herts, including Bishop's Stortford.
Criminals who use the railway network to courier drugs and conduct other illegal activity are being targeted by police as part of Operation Passenger. The crackdown is in response to concerns raised by train travellers.
Hertfordshire Constabulary officers joined colleagues from British Transport Police (BTP) in the large-scale stop-and-search exercise at Bishop's Stortford, Broxbourne, Rye House and Hertford East stations on Wednesday August 25.
Passengers were spoken to, searches were carried out and 'knife arches' were installed on platforms to detect any offensive weapons.
As a result, a man was arrested at Rye House on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and another was arrested at Broxbourne on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class B drugs (cannabis).
A knuckleduster was taken from a man searched at Rye House.
PC Derek Lewin, of the Bishop's Stortford neighbourhood policing team, was among officers carrying out searches at Stortford station.
"We had eight officers at Bishop's Stortford between 10am and 2pm carrying out stop and search in relation to criminal use of the railway system for supplying drugs and the carrying of offensive weapons," he said.
"It was a very successful operation, with uniformed officers working alongside plain-clothed officers. We hope to run it again in the future. It's all to do with county lines and the transportation of drugs and the use of the railways for crime."
Broxbourne's PC Liam Seville, who organised the operation, said: "It was carried out in response to concerns from members of the public about drugs and associated criminality across Broxbourne and East Herts.
"It was a great success and I hope it sends a clear message to anyone thinking of travelling to Hertfordshire to commit crime that they are not welcome here and we will catch up with them.
"I also hope it reassures members of public that we are listening and we are here, acting on your concerns and actively targeting those involved in criminality.
"This is another great example of proactive partnership working, and I’d like to thank our colleagues at BTP and at Greater Anglia for their support on the day."
PC Nigel Lusher, of the BTP, said: "The increased patrols have resulted in potentially harmful drugs being intercepted as they were being couriered into the local community and a dangerous weapon being removed from the railway network.
"Passenger safety across the railway is of paramount importance to us and we urge anyone who spots something on the network that doesn’t look right to contact us by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40."