In a significant development, authorities have uncovered a cache of drugs, weapons, and a substantial sum of cash during raids at two Gateshead gyms. Birtley Boxing Club, located on Beaconsfield Terrace, and Birtley Gym and Fitness Centre, situated on Durham Road, have been closed down following their alleged involvement in drug-related activities and other criminal offenses.
The investigation was initiated by the diligent efforts of officers from Northumbria Police’s Gateshead Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), who executed warrants at both establishments on September 20th. During these operations, a substantial quantity of drugs and weapons were seized at Birtley Boxing Club, while drugs, along with thousands of pounds in cash, were discovered at Birtley Gym and Fitness Centre.
Reports concerning various incidents linked to these gyms, including suspected drug dealing, violent disorder, and criminal damage, prompted the law enforcement actions.
During a hearing held at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on October 12, both venues were ordered to remain closed for the next three months. Anyone found violating these orders may face arrest and possible incarceration.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police commented on the development, stating, “We are pleased that closure orders have now been granted against these two venues. We will continue to closely monitor the area, and should anyone breach the orders by reopening either of the venues, they will face criminal repercussions and potential time behind bars. Our hope is that these orders act as a deterrent to others because when we do receive reports linked to suspected criminality, we will take action.”
They went on to emphasize the commitment to combating serious and organized crime under Operation Sentinel, urging individuals with information about such activities to come forward and cooperate with the authorities.
Councillor Angela Douglas, Chair of the Gateshead Community Safety Board, expressed her stance on the matter, stating, “Activity of this nature has no place in Gateshead, and I would urge anyone with information about suspected criminal activity to report what they know. We will continue to work with Northumbria Police to act on reports of this nature and tackle any threats to the safety of our communities.”