A Bridport & Lyme Regis News reporter joined Dorset Police for a drugs raid in Bridport. Cristiano Magaglio reports:

Dorset Police says it 'fully recognises the detrimental impact that drug-related activity has on members of our communities and we will continue to do all we can to tackle this.'

With this in mind, I arrived at Bridport Police Station at 8am in time for the operation briefing, fuelled by tea and doughnuts, having been invited to join officers on a raid in the town. 

The Force Support Group (FSG), which conducts operations across the county, were joined by Neighbourhood Patrol Team officers (NPT) to review the operation one last time.

It was an intentionally simple plan. Hit the three houses in North Allington at the same time, with half a dozen officers each.

 - Scroll down to see our video of the police breaching one of the doors.

Two of the doors would be simple to breach, though once the sergeant in charge said as such there was a collective groan as if he had jinxed it.

Read more: Police raids on three houses in North Allington, Bridport

The remaining primary address, which I was allowed to attend and film, would require new techniques.

The police convoy departed from the station at around 9.20am. The three addresses were all close to each other, and only a few minutes from the station.

I followed the FSG van as it wound through North Allington. At this point, the FSG were dressed in heavy gear, wearing balaclavas and several layers of protection including Kevlar.

No sirens were blaring, and consideration had been put into where to leave cars to give minimal warning.

It did not take long for us to reach the quiet cul-de-sac.

The FSG van was parked directly outside as the officers rushed through the front gate to the door.

(Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

They smashed through the small vertical window with two blows from a hammer and used a saw to cut up from the window's edge, and then downward. 

Finally, with a single blow from a battering ram and shouts of 'police', the door was flung open and fresh officers moved inside.

From the moment the FSG pulled up at the house, it took less than a minute to breach the door.

Screams from one of the occupants could be heard from inside the building as police set about their search for the suspect, with two darting around the back of the building to cut off any escape route and get a view of the garden.

(Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

I waited outside whilst the police wrapped things up. Sweeping up debris and broken glass from the front door.

Suspected Class A drugs were found at the property and the suspect was arrested for alleged possession of Class A drugs. He was led out of the house by officers and placed into an unmarked police car a couple of hours after the raid.

After the raid, I spoke to one of the NPT, Ian Schofield. He said: "We have executed three warrants based on intelligence gathered from the community over the last few months indicating that these premises have been used for drug dealing.

"This particular address that we're at now we've positively found some Class A drugs and stuff to indicate that dealing is going on here.

"We're listening to our communities and we're pursuing any drug crime or any crime relentlessly."

Following the read, NPT officers spoke to neighbours to inform and reassure them following the commotion. 

The man arrested has been released under investigation.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "Dorset Police fully recognises the detrimental impact that drug-related activity has on members of our communities and we will continue to do all we can to tackle this.

"Targeting drug-related activity is an integral part of the West Dorset Neighbour Policing Team’s (NPT) daily duties, with the objective to drive down these types of offences in the area and disrupt the operations of the dealers.

"We welcome reports from members of the public so we can build an intelligence picture of what is going on in the area. This could include the time, date and location, as well as any other descriptive information they may have regarding suspected drug offences. This can be reported to us via our website https://www.dorset.police.uk/ or by calling 101.

"Our officers will always take positive action on intelligence received. This may include targeted high-visibility patrols in areas of concern that have been reported to us, or in the case of our operation in Bridport on Monday, July 8, executing warrants at addresses in which we have received sufficient intelligence to suggest drug-related activity is taking place.

"Drug dealing and drug-related offences will not be tolerated by Dorset Police in any area of the county."