Today over 200 officers from Thames Valley Police have executed 11 warrants to target an organised criminal gang who we believe have been growing cannabis and also supplying it in the Thames Valley.
Within their operation we believe they have also been using vulnerable people to cultivate cannabis in factories in Aylesbury.
This morning we have targeted six properties in Aylesbury and arrested five people and found four suspected cannabis factories.
We have also carried out four warrants in Reading. Where we have made eight arrests and recovered a number of electronic items.
One warrant was carried out in Wantage, Oxfordshire where two people were arrested and officers seized a large quantity of cash.
As part of this operation we have been looking to safeguard any vulnerable people who might have been the victim of modern slavery type offences. As such we have a reception centre running to provide support to those who need safeguarding and have been working with local agencies to offer this support.
Detective Inspector Richard Jarvis, said: “Thames Valley Police is committed through its Stronghold campaign to tackle serious organised crime and exploitation by working with our partners.
“Today we have executed a number of warrants in order to tackle a potential criminal network who we believe have been using vulnerable people to grow and distribute cannabis in the Thames Valley.
“As such we have carried out a number of warrants in order to arrest those who we believe are responsible and also safeguard any vulnerable people.
“We have worked with our partners at Reading Borough Council and the National Crime Agency (NCA) to make sure that anyone who has been exploited is supported.”
“Thames Valley Police will continue to target those who seek to cultivate and sell drugs for their own gain.
“This has been a complex investigation and we would like to thank the public for the intelligence they have provided. Only with this information can we continue to build up information and carry out operations like the one today.
“We would ask the public if they have information please report to 101 or if they wish to report 100% anonymously they can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”