Police in Suffolk have arrested over 350 people in connection with the supply of class A drugs across the county during 2017.
As well as the arrests over £70,000 and over 6,800 wraps of class A drugs have also been seized by officers across the county and 162 search warrants were also carried out.
Under the banner of Velocity the force last year bought the three area operations of Volcanic (South), London (West) and Boulevard (East) under the one ‘umbrella’ to ensure an increase co-ordination of enforcement activity across the three areas.
A total of 371 arrests were made with the vast majority in the South (Ipswich area) with 210 made, and 109 of these by the Urban Street Gang Unit. This is a team dedicated to tackling criminal activity and associated anti-social behaviour (ASB) connected to groups of individuals known to each other in the Ipswich area, much of which is drug related.
Another key strand of the on-going work is to identify those who are being exploited by their vulnerability, are taken advantage of and need help to escape the cycle of drugs through a multi-agency approach.
County Policing Commander Chief Supt Jen Eves said: “These arrests and seizures are all about us responding to offences linked to illegal drugs activity in the county. This is something we simply won’t tolerate. More long term work is underway with our partners to develop our response further, focusing on prevention and vulnerability. The enforcement that the police carry out is only one tactical option that deals with the immediate issues.
“We will continue to pursue, disrupt and arrest those people bringing criminality or anti-social behaviour to the streets of Ipswich, as well as constantly gathering intelligence that members of the public provide and for which we are grateful for. This may be seeing suspicious vehicles or strange activity where you live. The police value what we are told and many of the arrests we make are as a result of information coming to us from the community to build a picture of activity.”
Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: “I went out with the Urban Street Gang Unit back in August as an observer and was extremely impressed by the fantastic work that is being carried out by the Constabulary to combat the drug issue in our county.
“I was absolutely shocked to see three young boys, the youngest was aged about 14, stopped with Class A drugs in Ipswich in the middle of the afternoon. I find it extremely sad to see how vulnerable young people are being dragged into this dark and sinister world.
“I absolutely support the continued work of the Constabulary. I want to make it absolutely clear that we will work with local government partners and the voluntary sector to protect Suffolk from the destructive impact of drug related crime.”