82 vulnerable Kettering adults found as part of Operation Viper

An Operation Viper raid at a Kettering address.
An Operation Viper raid at a Kettering address.

A high profile crackdown on serious and organised crime has found 82 vulnerable adults in Kettering in need of safeguarding in its first four months

34 people in the Kettering area have also been arrested as part of Operation Viper, Northants Police forces’ attempt to stamp out the gang and drugs activities that have become an increasing problem across the county over the past few years.

Addresses in Wood Street, Crown Street and London Road in the town have raided by police and the force has been carrying out stop and search activities and putting plain clothes officers onto the streets.

The 82 vulnerable adults from Kettering have been identified since the start of the operation in July. A number had been cuckooed, with their home being taken over to be used as a drug dealing base by a drugs gang.

A police spokesman said: “When an officer or PCSO has concerns about someone’s potential vulnerability due to lifestyle, mental health or other reason they will refer them to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). They would review it and decide what/if any interventions are needed.”

The MASH is a partnership of public bodies including the police, health organisations, the county council, education and the fire service and runs from the criminal justice centre in Brackmills, Northampton.

Chief Inspector Julie Mead said the police work closely with other partners such as the borough council’s housing team when a vulnerable person is identified and will keep checking on people who they suspect may be being cuckooed.

Figures reported to the Kettering Partnership last month (Oct) by Sergeant John Offord revealed the results of Operation Viper since it was launched.

Between July 1 and October 10 officers carried out 61 stop and searches and found large quantities of heroin, cocaine and cannabis as well as hundreds of pounds in cash and offensive weapons such as knives and knuckle-dusters. 68 cars were also stopped by the Kettering police team.

31 premises in the borough were searched with drugs, cash, phones and computers found and one search found £300,000 worth of farming equipment.