ELITE police smashed their way through a door using a chainsaw during a dynamic dawn drugs raid in Droitwich.
The specialist Task Force officers, kitted out in heavy duty gear, helmets and balaclavas, leapt out of a transit van with the chainsaw running and the lead officer quickly cut a wedge out of the door in Woodmans Close, Westlands, Droitwich this morning.
The trio of officers shouted "police!" and "get on the ground!" after they kicked their way through the door in the space of a few seconds during the raid at about 8am, one of two simultaneous raids on the Westlands estate. At the time of the warrant by West Mercia Police there were three males in the house, a female and a toddler of about 18 months.
A man was then later led away by police and handcuffed as he was arrested on suspicion of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. Class A drugs can include heroin and crack cocaine but the officers said they could not confirm the type of drugs seized until they were tested using a field testing kit back at the station. Some cannabis bush was also found at the address.
Both warrants were linked and Task Forces officers at the other location did not find any drugs or make any arrests. The warrant attracted some interest from neighbours who gave mixed reactions. One man, who seemed annoyed, said: "Thanks for making all that noise and waking me up!"
PC Jon Griffith explained to him that it was a drugs warrant and said: "We can't be quiet all the time." One woman said: "It's better than morning television."
A Staffordshire bull terrier Labrador cross called Charlie was sent in as a sniffer dog to find any drugs the officers might have missed during their search of the flat and the patio outside.
PC Griffith said: "I have been in the police twelve years and it's the first time I have seen this (rapid entry with a chainsaw)."
PC Paul Cound said: "We are constantly getting reports from members of the public about drug dealing and taking. It's nice to have a positive outcome from the warrant."
Officers have a range of tools at their disposal including a heavy battering ram called an 'enforcer' and the 'Hooligan bar' or 'Hoolie bar' which has a pike and duckbill and claw radius for use on windows and doors. The chainsaw is needed on specific doors (this one was a composite door) or where certain conditions are identified by police in advance of the warrant being executed.
Police cadets and police community support officers (PCSOs) then performed 'reassurance patrols' to explain to neighbours what had happened.