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Police spy eye on drug crime; LYE: Cameras in headgear help crackdown by officers.

Byline: By Tony Deeley

SECRET cameras in police hats helped officers make six arrests for suspected drug offences in the first week of a crackdown in Dudley.

Head-cams are being used by officers, along with sniffer dogs, as part of Operation Sphere, a month-long initiative targeting crime in Lye, near Stourbridge.

The arrests followed increased high visibility patrols in the area.

A number of untaxed vehicles were also seized.

The West Midlands Police Safer Travel team is carrying out patrols on targeted bus routes in the area as part of the operation, using both the head cams and the Safer Travel drugs dog.

High-profile walk-throughs of licensed premises take place on Friday and Saturday evenings, also using the drugs dog, and high-visibility patrols are laid on in alcohol-restricted areas.

Officers, who have set up a mobile police station in High Street, Lye, are also working alongside Dudley Council to provide free replacement locks for burglary victims, Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operations this month aim to address vehicle crime.

Insp Neil Hobson, the officer in charge of Operation Sphere, said: "We are really pleased with the results in the first week.

"Police and partner agencies are taking a zero tolerance approach to crime in Lye and will be targeting anyone who seeks to cause a disturbance in the area.

"We have received some very positive feedback from the community during the initial stages of the operation. We are committed to continuing to reduce crime even further in Lye."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 7, 2007
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