National week of action on drugs

Suffolk PCC, Tim Passmore has praised the Constabulary for its impressive results following a national week of action against the on-going threat of County Lines.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “The threat to society from the illegal drugs business is huge – it wrecks lives, and whole communities are affected. Sadly, the drug barons often prey on individuals who are at risk and very vulnerable.

“I would like to congratulate all agencies involved in this work, but especially the Constabulary. The results speak for themselves and build on the excellent work already being done. That said, there is no room for complacency and I can assure everyone I will do everything possible to provide the resources necessary to try and eliminate this problem from our towns and villages.

“There should be no tolerance by anyone for this illicit trade.”

During the week, Suffolk Constabulary along with other forces conducted arrests and warrants, organising dedicated patrols, and gathering intelligence across the county to ensure that the force continues to make Suffolk a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.

As part of the week of action officers made 29 arrests for a variety of offences as part of the week’s efforts.

Additionally, the force conducted welfare visits to 111 properties where police understood the residents to be victims of ‘cuckooing’* with 34 vulnerable individuals engaged with.

Cash to the value of in excess of £5,000 was recovered with drugs with an estimated street value of £10,000 were also seized, along with a selection of weapons, including a machete, zombie knives and a taser. Other activity conducted included proactive patrols around train stations as well uniform and plain clothed patrols.

Officers also linked in with local hotels and B and Bs to provide factsheets and provide awareness information to identify suspicious activity that could be associated with County Lines activity on their business premises as well as with taxi businesses to alert them to activity such as young passengers going on frequent, long journeys.

Police have also been liaising with housing partnerships on the issue of cuckooing* and providing advice for landlords and tenants as to the signs to look for. The force’s school liaison officers and youth engagement teams have also been busy engaging with schools and colleges with advice, leaflets and talks.

Detective Superintendent Dave Giles said: “This was another productive week in terms of arrests, gathering intelligence and engaging with vulnerable people. Although it’s important to say our work to address the issue of County Lines and drug supply is something we tackle all year round.

“We are working harder than ever to crack down on county lines, which bring misery to communities in the form of drug dealing and violence.

“Tackling county lines is in equal parts about safeguarding victims, shutting down the line and targeting line holders. This is not an issue we can tackle alone with local agencies, charities, partners, schools, parents all need to help us protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Illegal drug activity and associated crime can have a detrimental effect on communities and I would like to reassure residents that we will continue to act on information provided to us.”