A machete, taser, knives and suspected class A drugs were just a few of the items seized by police who carried out the first of several raids in the North East today - and I witnessed it all.

Watching a chainsaw destroy a door and seeing police storm inside an unsuspecting property on a housing estate is not everyone's usual Tuesday morning - but it was business as usual for Northumbria Police who began a series of raids today (May 14). 

But, whilst seizing illegal items and bundling suspects into police vehicles is the usual order of the day for plenty of cops today was different. Today began the second phase of Operation Impact - a force wide initiative which was launched last July in an effort to curtail criminal activity.

The Northern Echo: Northumbria Police briefing in Washington.Northumbria Police briefing in Washington. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

However, this latest stint has been designed to specifically tackle serious violence and drug offences based off of public intelligence and is expected to carry on for the next few weeks.

With that in mind, dozens of officers and a handful of police vehicles converged in Washington to carry out a series of warrants and were prepped and ready in their strike teams to "keep people safe and fight crime" as was emboldened on the slide show that was flicked through by senior cops.

"Today is all about our response to serious violence", explained Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill.

The Northern Echo: Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill.Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill. (Image: THE NORTHERN ECHO)

"It's about bringing together the totality of resources, assets, and capabilities from across the force in to Sunderland with partners to carry out warrants on people who are wanted for serious violence as well as doing some prevention work.

"It's really about also showing communities what our priorities are, we are here when they need us as we strive to be an outstanding force and show we can have a real impact.

"This is day to day business in terms of how we police in communities. This operation will be across all six areas of our force and really does aim to tackle serious violence which is a real priority for us."

Bundled up in to a police van, we set off to an address in the Teal Farm area and got to work. Before I knew it, we had arrived and I eagerly jumped out of the van and ran around the corner in the wake of officers who had already found the property in question.

A chainsaw held by an officer kitted out with protective clothing was already half way down the now flimsy looking door as I came upon the innocuous home whilst fellow cops lined up awaiting to get inside.

The Northern Echo: Northumbria Police raid in Washington.Northumbria Police raid in Washington. (Image: THE NORTHERN ECHO)

The Northern Echo: Man arrested following Northumbria Police raid in Washington.Man arrested following Northumbria Police raid in Washington. (Image: THE NORTHERN ECHO)

Five hits - and it was gone. Storming through, officers screamed warning anyone inside to remain still and began their search.

Shortly after, a man wearing matching donald duck pyjamas was arrested on suspicion of intent to supply class B drugs and emerged from the property in handcuffs.

The Northern Echo: Items found in the raid.Items found in the raid. (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

The suspect was hauled into a police vehicle and driven away whilst the army of officers continued their search, leaving no stone unturned as a large mattress blocked an upstairs window; having been moved aside in the thorough rummage.

An extended search saw officers move in and out of the building carrying various pieces of equipment including a ladder to get up to the loft.

The Northern Echo: Items found in the raid.Items found in the raid. (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

The Northern Echo: Items found in the raid.Items found in the raid. (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

Later, an officer emerged with an extensive haul which included a taser, suspected class B drugs, a machete, cash and multiple knives. 

A knife with a black handle, suspected class B drugs, scales and a taser were also all pictured inside of the home by officers.

The Northern Echo: Items found in the raid.Items found in the raid. (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)



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The weapons were then sealed inside evidence bags as they were carried away by an officer whilst many remained inside, still filling out paperwork.

This arguably impressive haul was just the tip of the iceberg for officers who had at least three more warrants to carry out throughout the afternoon and in to the evening.

A full set of results and findings from all of the raids are expected on Wednesday (May 15), and I can say that from my one experience on a raid it has been an eye opening experience - and one I won't forget soon.