West Midlands Police have released CCTV footage showing drug users flocking after a dealer’s car in scenes described as being like “excited children pouncing on an ice-cream van”. The previously unseen footage shows tens of addicts racing after a drug dealer’s car as he pulls into a Bordesley Green street at 8:30am on a weekday morning just yards away from a children’s nursery.
It prompted a police investigation – appropriately named Operation No Deal – that resulted in 29 men being jailed for a total of more than 100 years for drug supply offences. Birmingham Police Det Chief Insp Nick Walton, said: “You’d imagine drug transactions are carried out in a discreet manner – but the footage we obtained shows around 30 people rush towards the dealer’s car in broad daylight.
“I’d never seen anything like it in my police career and it was clear we needed to take decisive action to tackle the problem. No-one should be expected to put up with drug dealing on their doorstep: it attracts an undesirable element and is invariably linked to wider criminality.” The police action saw undercover detectives getting close to the dealers and use miniature surveillance cameras to record their activity and gather evidence.
They captured footage of audacious dealers peddling heroin and crack cocaine in parks and even children’s playgrounds. When detectives had established the main players and secured vital information, police arrest units carried out dawn raids as suspects’ doors were smashed open in a series of simultaneous strikes across Birmingham.