Royston man charged following drugs raids

A MAN from Royston has been charged after raids on cannabis farms in the town.

Neil Vandermerwe, 25, was charged with two counts of possession of controlled class B drugs, including cannabis and amphetamines, producing a controlled class B drug, cannabis and abstracting electricity.

Factories were discovered following raids on December 20 last year that led to eight arrests in total.

Suspected stolen goods, �10,000 in cash and a taser, which constitutes an illegal firearm, were also discovered during the raids in Willowside Way, Yeats Close, Swinburne Close, Chiltern Road, Lindsay Close and Layston Park. The drugs farms were found in Yeats Close and Swinburne Close.

Thirty police officers, including Royston Safer Neighbourhoods Team and dog units took part in the raids to combat drugs supply and criminal activity in the town.

Vandermerwe, of Swinburne Close, is the only one of the eight arrested people to be named.

A 49-year-old man from Royston has had charges of money laundering against him dropped.

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A 17-year-old boy, 21-year-old man and 27-year-old man have been re-bailed until later this month in linked with possession of firearms.

A woman from Baldock, aged 21, has also been re-bailed following her arrest on suspicion of possesing a firearm.

A 26-year-old man from Royston received a caution following his arrest on suspicion of possession of a firearm and producing cannabis.

A caution was also handed out to a 22-year-old from Royston for two offences of producing cannabis.

North Hertfordshire Chief Inspector Neil Ballard said: “We are sending out a very clear and strong message that we will not tolerate people who think they can deal drugs or commit crime in Royston.”

“We are committed to targeting and disrupting persons who are involved in drugs or other criminal activity and continue to urge members of the public to work with the police in their fight against crime and report any criminal or suspicious activity.

Vandermerwe will appear at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court next month.