Officers from Northumbria Police supported by the Metropolitan Police carried out a string of simultaneous arrests in the North East and in London
Six men have today been charged as part of a UK-wide firearms conspiracy following a shooting in South Shields.
Shortly after 3pm on September 16, officers received a report of a disturbance on Heaton Gardens. It was reported that offenders in a car pulled outside an address and discharged a firearm, before making off.
Nobody was injured but an investigation was immediately launched into the incident.
On Wednesday, officers from Northumbria Police supported by the Metropolitan Police carried out a series of dawn raids in South Tyneside and London as part of coordinated arrest strikes.
Two suspects were detained in Northumbria, while four men were arrested in London. They were subsequently transported to the North East to be interviewed.
A seventh suspect based in the capital handed himself in to officers, while an eighth suspect based in South Tyneside was arrested yesterday (Thursday).
Six men have now been charged in connection with the shooting. They are:
- Joseph Millward, 28, of Ascot Court, Boldon, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
- Colin Crawley, 45, of Woodall Court, Croydon, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
- Caspian Bhinder, 32, of Babbington Road, Streatham, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
- Stefan Simpson, 22, of Springett House, London, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
- Ashley McKenzie, 32, of Wandsworth Road, Lambeth, London, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
- Hyder Khidhir, 33, of St Mary’s Road, Ilford, London, charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
All six men are due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court tomorrow. (Saturday)
Assistant Chief Constable David Felton, of Northumbria Police, said: “Incidents of this nature are rare and our Force remains one of the safest places in the country to live and work.
“As a Force, we are committed to using every tactic at our disposal in order to tackle serious and violent criminality and ensure perpetrators are dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“This outcome has been possible due to some outstanding teamwork between Northumbria Police, Metropolitan Police, North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU) and our criminal justice partners. I would like to thank everyone who played their part in these proactive arrests.
“I would like to reassure our communities that a full and thorough investigation has been ongoing ever since this incident, which has today culminated in six suspects being charged as part of this conspiracy.
“Under the banner of Operation Sentinel, we will continue to have a zero-tolerance approach towards serious and violent crime – and will do everything in our power to continue to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.
“I would also like to thank those in our communities who have already come forward to assist with this significant investigation. By working together, we can ensure Northumbria remains a safe place to live and work.”
A 34-year-old man who was arrested as part of this week’s activity has been released under investigation but recalled to prison on licence, while a 23-year-old male remains in police custody at this time.
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20210916-0600.