Dramatic video footage shows the moment police smashed their way into a flat in a drugs operation.
The film was taken by The News crime reporter Clare Semke as officers carried out the raid at the Leamington House tower block in Southsea.
Three people were arrested as police raided homes in a crackdown on drug dealing and anti-social behaviour that is blighting residents’ lives.
More than 50 officers took part in Operation Arctic which saw warrants executed at Southsea homes in Leopold Street, St Ronan’s Road, and at Leamington House, Earlsdon Street, yesterday.
Police used specialist equipment including an ‘enforcer’ to break down doors and get into the three properties.
Two Ion Tracks – special equipment for detecting minute traces of illegal drugs – were also used.
Officers charged 26-year-old Southsea man Evi Zharra on suspicion of possessing cocaine – a class A drug – at the terraced house in Leopold Street.
He has been released on police bail and will appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on December 14.
A 20-year-old Southsea woman was arrested in the same street and later cautioned for using threatening or abusive behaviour.
A 34-year-old Southsea man wanted for breaching a court order was arrested at Leamington House. Police say he does not live at the property.
There were no arrests at the St Ronan’s Road property and police say no evidence of drug dealing has been found there. Inspector Annabel Berry, leading the operation, said: ‘This is us putting our foot down.’
Hampshire police’s Force Support Unit, two drugs, weapons and cash search dogs, Portsmouth City Council housing and anti-social behaviour officers and James Amos, resilience and specialist operations manager for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, were involved in the raids.
Chief Inspector Steve Burridge said: ‘We would appeal for people to stay in contact with their neighbourhoods’ beat teams to share information about anything they are not happy about, suspected criminal or anti-social behaviour. If they don’t want to speak to us they can always contact the charity Crimestoppers.’
He added: ‘We will be absolutely clear. We will be supportive to people who have genuine misuse issues and there are services in place to help break that cycle. But we will not tolerate drug dealing in Portsmouth.’
Call police on 101 or report crime to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.