Ten arrests have been made during warrants undertaken to restrict the supply of drugs in Gosport, Fareham, and Portsmouth.
As part of Hampshire Constabularys zero-tolerance approach to the supply of illegal drugs, thirteen warrants and five searches with consent have been carried out at addresses in Gosport, Fareham, and Portsmouth this week.
Thirteen of the addresses searched were in Gosport as part of ongoing efforts to disrupt organised crime gangs from elsewhere in the UK, who are thought to be supplying drugs in the town. A further four addresses were searched in Portsmouth and one in Fareham on Tuesday, December 13.
Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit led the activity and were supported by the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams, which have subsequently been providing re-assurance to neighbours and other people affected.
Officers seized suspected Class A drugs, mainly cocaine, with an estimated street value of £2,300 and £700in cash.
Nine people were arrested on suspicion of offences including possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. They have all been bailed until March 6, 2017, pending further enquiries.
A further arrest on suspicion of burglary was made prior to the warrants. The arrested person was later released without charge and will face no further action.
Chief Inspector Jim Pegler, who oversees policing in Portsmouth, said: “These warrants follow three days of well-resourced patrols and warrants which were undertaken in the city in November. They underline our commitment to keep our communities safe from drug related violence and crime. This behaviour will not be tolerated and these arrests send a clear warning to anyone involved in this type of activity that we will find you”.
Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich, who oversees policing in Gosport, said: “This is a fantastic result and is a reflection of the time and resources that went into planning these warrants. We will continue to disrupt drug dealers’ activities and reduce the demand for them in the local area. We are determined that people who bring drugs into our communities feel that they are at constant risk of being stopped, arrested and generally disrupted.
“Drugs like crack cocaine and heroin do tremendous harm to the people whose lives are blighted by addiction. The gangs that sell these drugs often exploit vulnerable people as part of their business, including using children to run drugs or by taking over the homes of vulnerable people to deal from.
“We are sending a clear, strong message that we will identify the networks that cause the most harm and dismantle them. We will be relentless in tackling people who bring this misery to Hampshire and we will continue to work in partnership to protect vulnerable people and children.
“We are also working alongside voluntary and community groups to provide support to those people with an addiction to improve their quality of life and reduce the demand for Class A drugs”.
Operation Fortress is a campaign to reduce the harm of drug-related violence. One of the aims is to restrict the supply of Class A drugs and officers are keen to hear from anyone who is concerned about illegal drugs or drug-related crime in their neighbourhood.
The things to look out for are as follows:
– A sudden increase in visitors to a house or flat and people only staying for a very short time
– Short exchanges between small groups of people at or close to a flat or house
– Residents leaving a flat or house on numerous occasions throughout the day and returning a short time later
– People loitering in an area and using their mobile phones frequently
– New-looking or hire cars parked outside a house or flat that wouldn’t normally be there, and being driven by somebody that you wouldn’t normally associate with driving that style of car.
If you have any concerns, call police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also email us in confidence: [email protected] If you don’t want to speak to the police directly, you can call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 500 111.