Dorset police seized weapons and £100,000 in crackdown

TASERS, machetes, nunchakus and £100,000 were seized when police made 18 arrests in a major crackdown on drug gangs.

Dorset police joined officers in the south to take part in the week of action.

Under the banner of Operation Scorpion, the initiative saw the initiative use forces to disrupt drug crime in the Southwest by dismantling drug supply networks and arresting those who profit from them.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “For the first time, all five regions of the South West have come together with the same priority and a clear intent – to hit those involved in illegal drug activity and county lines, to from our streets and to catch those responsible.

“I am extremely proud of the way all partner agencies have worked together to coordinate this unique operation.

“Fighting violent crime and major damage is one of the priorities of my Police and Crime Plan and that priority includes tackling drug-related crime and exploitation and what better way to tackle the problem than our collective resources and the turn the entire southwestern region into a fortress against drug crime.

“Criminals don’t see national borders when it comes to drug delivery and drug dealing, and now we don’t either.

“For everyone involved, the message is clear: the Southwest is no place for drugs.”

In Dorset, during Operation Scorpion, which took place in the week commencing on 7 March, 18 individuals involved in suspected drug offences, 17 arrest warrants were executed and approximately £100,000 were seized, as well as several weapons.

A heroin block seized by the police

Six suspected provincial lines were disrupted, linked to 36 vulnerable community members visited for welfare checks.

Meanwhile, the South West Regional Organized Crime Unit (SWROCU) has seized £10,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine from a vehicle traveling from Merseyside to Bournemouth.

Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Lyne said: “This operation has resulted in armed forces across the region taking a concerted, borderless approach to disrupt the efforts of suspected criminal gangs involved in the supply of illegal drugs, including provincial line networks.

“We will continue to work with our partners across the region to relentlessly prosecute those suspected of being involved in the drug supply chain and to support vulnerable people in our communities.

“Through this work, we will make Dorset a hostile place for criminals to operate and Dorset a safe province for all.

“Our communities can continue to play a role by reporting any suspected drug-related activity to us and we would encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

The work involving troops in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset was supported by the British Transport Police, the SWROCU and the charity Crimestoppers.

The five South West Police and Crime Commissioners met in London last week with Police Minister Kit Malthouse MP.

Together, they revealed their partnership and strengthened the focus to make the Southwest a hostile place for drug and criminal gangs.

Mr Malthouse said: “Drug confrontation is central to the fight against crime, violence and neighborhood decline. I therefore commend the work of the police forces of Wiltshire, Devon & Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Avon & Somerset in delivering this plague from our streets.

“On Scorpion is a great example of what we can achieve when we treat drug-related crime as an insidious business, and the evil bosses need to know that they will soon be behind bars, with plenty of time to reflect on their wickedness.

“Through our drug strategy, we are addressing both the demand and supply of narcotics by helping the police to track down these ruthless drug gangs, while helping drug addicts with treatment and recovery services.

“The success of Operation Scorpion in the Southwest is proof that cooperation is key to tackling the supply of narcotics and dismantling the gangs behind it. I would like to thank the officers who are working tirelessly to reduce drug-related crime and antisocial behavior in their area.”

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