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Issue:- 11 April 2013


AN investigation that was led by Titan (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit) has led to the biggest drug seizure since the unit started in 2008, after officers recovered, what is believed to be cocaine, with a potential street value of £12 million.

Supported by the South East Regional Crime Unit, SOCA and Border Policing Command a co-ordinated operation led to a van being stopped in Chelmsford, Essex, on Saturday, 6 April 2013.

2 men aged 50 and 25 years from the Urmston area of Manchester were detained with the vehicle and a subsequent search led to recovery of what is believed to be 80 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value of £12 million.

Following this recovery, with support from the Police Forces of Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire, co-ordinated arrests took place across the North West.

Police later confirmed that all those charged with drugs offences at Halton Magistrates Court in Runcorn on Monday, 8 April 2013, will next appear at Warrington Crown Court on 29 April 2013 for a pre-liminary hearing.

Of the 8 who were arrested on Saturday, 6 April 2013, 7 have appeared before magistrates to be formally charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine).

They were:-

Steven Harwood, aged 35, of Valley Road, Urmston, Manchester - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Richard Brookhouse, aged 45, of Coronation Avenue, Grappenhall, Warrington, Cheshire - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Diane Brookhouse, aged 41, of Coronation Avenue, Grappenhall, Warrington, Cheshire - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Andrew Wilde, aged 52, of Wood Lane, Partington, Manchester - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Gerrard Garner Mooney, aged 30, of Denstone Avenue, Aintree, Merseyside - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Carl Wall, aged 36, of Poplar Close, Halewood, Merseyside - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Karl Peter Glennon, aged 46, of Davyhulme Road, Urmston, Manchester - charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine)

Of those 7 people, all were remanded in custody except Diane Brookhouse, who was granted court bail.

A bail application hearing for Steven Harwood will took place on Wednesday, 10 April 2013.

An 8th person, a 60 year old man from Urmston, Manchester, was taken ill during the charging process and was not well enough to attend court. He has therefore not been formally charged at this time.

Head of Operations for Titan, Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson said:- "These arrests come as a result of a thorough and intensive 6 month long investigation by officers from Titan. It also represents the largest seizure of Class A controlled drugs from a Titan led investigation and delivers a massive blow against organised crime in the North West. This continues our ongoing efforts to tackle the top echelon of organised criminals in the North West and I hope this sends a message out of others involved in this type of criminality, that we act on all information we receive and work hard to take you off the streets and bring you to justice."

For more information on the Titan operations why not visit the operations website at:-


NORTH West Ambulance Service (NWAS) are launching a new campaign to show how it helps patients get the right care. On road, on foot, over the phone and in the sky; there are a number of ways the Service can help to make sure patients get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

NWAS saw a 5% increase in the number of 999 calls received (during the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013) - 1,170,154 compared to 1,113,398 the previous year. Yet only a 3rd of these calls were categorised as life-threatening.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the variety of ways in which the Service can help, including how it seeks alternatives for those patients whose conditions are deemed less serious; keeping ambulances free for those who need them most.

From Thursday 11 April 2013, a film featuring ambulance staff and volunteers will be available to watch on the Trust's social media pages and website. The film shows how the ambulance service endeavours to get the right care for each patient's specific needs and this won't necessarily be an ambulance.

In the case of non-life-threatening incidents, the Service can do various things to help before an ambulance is dispatched – it utilises Specialist Paramedics to call back patients whose conditions are less serious; they can put patients in touch with their GP or a community specialist, advise them to visit their local Urgent Care Centre, book them an emergency appointment with a dentist or give self-care advice over the phone.

If an ambulance response is appropriate, there's more than the traditional ambulance crew available to help. The Service uses paramedics in cars and on cycles, air ambulances and trained volunteers too.

After assessment, ambulance staff have more options available than Emergency Departments; they can take patients to urgent care centres, refer them to a healthcare professional in the community or leave them at home with self care advice.

Derek Cartwright, Acting Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service, said:- "The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of what people can expect when they call on us for help. Not all patients are taken to the nearest emergency department; instead, they are assessed or treated by highly skilled clinicians who work out the best place for them to get help for their specific needs. This is all about getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place. 999 should always be called for an immediately life threatening or serious incident and an emergency ambulance will always be dispatched to those patients who need one. What we want to do is raise awareness of all the routes to care available to the public, and to highlight that if you go to the right place 1st, you could be on the route to recovery much more quickly. In addition to the film, NWAS's website boasts an interactive quiz so you can see how much you know about calling 999!"


MERSEYSIDE'S tourism businesses are being urged by national tourist board VisitEngland and charity Action on Hearing Loss to pick up 'Listen Up!' a free guide launched to help businesses become more accessible for visitors with hearing loss. 

1 in 6 residents in Merseyside have some form of hearing loss, and 'Listen Up!' is packed with information, advice and examples of best practice for providing customers who are deaf or hard of hearing with a warm welcome and an excellent visitor experience.

To get a copy of 'Listen Up!' please click here. The guide highlights key issues for owners of attractions, accommodation operators and other tourism businesses when accommodating visitors with hearing loss, including:-

Safety – How to put adequate evacuation procedures in place to alert guests with hearing loss in case of an emergency.

Communication – Advice for staff when speaking to someone with hearing loss, and information on disability awareness and sign language training courses.

Facilities – Information on equipment that can assist guests with hearing loss (available online), such as hearing loops and text phones, as well as advice on completing an Access Statement; a written description of a venue's facilities and services, to inform people with access needs.

Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell, says:- "We are delighted to be working with VisitEngland to publish the Listen Up! guide. It will help tourism businesses in Merseyside to improve the accessibility of their services for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, invest in hearing loss support and generate more income."

Ross Calladine, VisitEngland's Head of Business Support, says:- "Visitors who have a health condition or disability – and their companions; spend over £2 billion a year in England, so it is vital that we integrate the needs of visitors with physical and sensory access requirements into our everyday service provision. Listen Up! is designed to help tourism businesses in Merseyside become more deaf aware, and attract even more of these loyal and valuable customers."

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