I accompanied 40 Police officers last Friday on a raid on three flats in central Brighton where the occupants were suspected of drug dealing on a large scale.
It was a real adrenaline rush! It started with a 7am briefing at Hove Police Station. Then we were all shipped in vans, instructed to switch our mobile phones off and keep totally silent. It was just like a military operation, and looking at the armour many of the police were wearing, I was very glad of my stab vest! As there were no press present, the police appointed me their official photographer for the raid! On a given signal, shortly before 7.30 we charged in, up several flights of stairs, and divided into pre-arranged groups. The police knew entry was not going to be easy, as the council had recently put new doors on (solid, reinforced doors with heavy duty locks) so all groups were equipped with hydraulic rams to push the door hinges apart, in addition to the “bosher” or battering rams. It was real shock-and-awe tactics, with the police hammering on the doors, yelling “POLICE. STAND CLEAR OF THE DOOR. POLICE! STAND CLEAR OF THE DOOR!” desperate to get in before the occupants were able to flush much of the drugs inside down the toilets.
Fortunately the operation was a success. Two of the suspects jumped out of windows, one breaking his ankle. And my photograph, as shown above, was used by The Argus newspaper in this story! Double result!!!
7.15 am ready to rock and roll…
7.30 – gathered outside the apartment block
In we go!
Through the side entrance…
Up the stairs and down the corridor