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Six arrests after early-morning police raids in Canterbury, Whitstable and Tenterden

Police raid at Benacre riding school
Police raid at Benacre riding school

A huge police presence in Whitstable this morning

by Ed Targett

Six arrests have been made this morning after three early-morning raids by police in east Kent.

Seventy officers targeted a riding school in Whitstable, a flat in Canterbury and a home in Tenterden as part of Operation Castle.

Six caravans on land at the Benacre Riding School in Whitstable are being searched and three people have been arrested on suspicion of possessing a Class B drug.

Three vans, six patrol cars, a plain clothes unit and sniffer dogs are currently on the site off the Old Thanet Way.

Forensic teams in blue gloves could be seen scouring the site, which is also used for selling second-hand cars.

Among the property seized was cash, mobile phones, a sat nav, power tools and a television. A large amount of railway cabling, believed to have been stolen in Herne Bay yesterday, was also found covered in hay.

The trio arrested are two men aged 32 and 47 and a 30-year-old woman.

The 32-year-old is also being questioned on suspicion of metal theft.

Two more men, aged 25 and 19, and an 18-year-old woman have also been arrested after a raid at a maisonette in Crisfield Court, off Chalk Avenue in St Michael’s, Tenterden.

The men are being quizzed on suspicion of burglary and the woman for allegedly possessing herbal cannabis.

The third raid has been carried out on a terraced house in Gas Street, Canterbury.

Police raid at Benacre Riding School
Police raid at Benacre Riding School

Benacre is close to the Thanet Way slip road from Whitstable to Herne Bay

There have now been 379 arrests and 173 warrants executed during Operation Castle, which is a three-month campaign targeting burglary and vehicle crime.

Detective Inspector Daren O’Malley said: "The aim of today is not just about arresting those who are breaking into homes or stealing from cars, but disrupting the network that is fuelling these crimes.

"We are targeting those people who operate as handlers and reducing the outlets for stolen property."

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