Spike in drug trafficking detection as police step up enforcement activity

Cash and suspected class A drugs seized by police earlier this year Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Cash and suspected class A drugs seized by police earlier this year Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s proactive approach to dismantling the illegal drugs trade has been credited for a spike in recorded crime and an ‘enviable’ rate of solved offences.

In the 12 months to June 30, drug trafficking offences rose by almost 15% – to 402 against the long-term, three-year average of 352.

Meanwhile, possession offences leapt more than a quarter (25.7%) – to 1,489 against the 1,185 average.

Police solved 80% of drug trafficking offences – up 13.1% – and 85.7% possession offences – up 1.8% against the average rate.

Police and crime commissioner (PCC) Tim Passmore said he was pleased to see the rate increasing.

The figures were presented to the PCC’s accountability and performance panel in a Police and Crime Plan performance progress report, which said levels of drug trafficking spiked in January as a result of proactive policing.

The force said a number of initiatives had contributed to the rise, including Operation Velocity, launched in September 2017 to tackle county lines drug dealing.

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The report said: “All our teams work collectively to investigate and disrupt this activity, while working closely with partners to safeguard those most vulnerable to exploitation.

“The constabulary’s three proactive teams – Scorpion, Sentinel and Serious Crime Disruption Team – supported by our local policing teams, have been leading the fight against drugs dealers and county lines.

“These teams have been exploiting technology and intelligence to provide innovative and proactive policing tactics targeted to those operating county lines on our roads and in our communities.”

Police said restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak had provided greater disruption and enforcement opportunities through the targeting of criminal activity and movement.

Mr Passmore: “I’m really pleased to see the number of solved crimes going up.

“I dare say it’s the envy of many other forces across the country, so huge congratulations to everyone involved.

“This issue comes up at every public meeting. It really exercises the public in their anxieties.

“I’m convinced this will improve public trust and confidence.

“The drugs business is something I have a personal loathing of, in terms of contempt for those involved.”

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