Gateshead crime crackdown: Weapons seized and men arrested after pig head pinned to pub

Some of the weapons and drugs seized during raids in Gateshead. Credit: Northumbria Police

Drugs and weapons including knives and crossbows have been seized during a series of early morning raids.

Two people were also arrested as part of a crackdown on serious crime in Gateshead.

Police carried out a series of raids in the Birtley area on Wednesday 20 September as part of an operation in response to a spate of recent incidents, including pig heads being pinned to the Coach and Horses pub, in Birtley, and a van being driven onto the Great North Run route.

A 51-year-old man believed to have been involved in both incidents was arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

A 23-year-old believed to have been involved in the Coach and Horses disorder was later arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and public order offences. 

Drugs seized from one of the properties in Birtley. Credit: Northumbria Police

On Wednesday, officers visited three properties in the Birtley area.

Once inside the premises, searches were carried out and illicit weapons were seized, including several knives and crossbows.

Suspected illegal substances were also seized, including paraphernalia related to drug dealing and organised criminality.

The raids were coordinated by a specialist team, who have warned those involved in serious and organised crime will be brought to justice and advised disruption to organised criminality is crucial in keeping communities safe.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Organised crime can devastate communities and is often spearheaded by heartless individuals only looking to operate under their own selfish agendas. 

“This week, as part of our ongoing proactive activity, we were able to arrest two suspects while we also seized evidence that will prove invaluable moving forward.

“This planned operation was a result of months of intelligence gathering as we work to build a clearer picture of organised criminality across the region.

“The investigation will continue to identify and target anyone involved with further activity planned in the coming months.

“It’s important we continue our work so these groups are dismantled and can no longer operate, and we will continue to do all we can to identify suspects and bring anyone found responsible to justice.”

They added: “Community intelligence is vital to our policing approach, and we urge anyone with any information that could help us disrupt and dismantle this type of criminality to get in touch with us."

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