We have recently finished a covert operation against drug dealers across Gloucestershire. Operation Scorpion was conducted over a few weeks and was highly successful. Multiple arrests were made and drugs seized with a street value of £130,000.
For the first time ever, all five forces in the South West worked together to ensure that organised criminals operating across our county boundaries were intercepted and disrupted. We created a ‘ring of steel’ around our borders, using our network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras and working with British Transport Police on the railways.
This level of cooperation is unique and is a consequence of all five Commissioners being of the same Party and of the same mind on Law and Order. Together we seized drugs worth more than £400,000 and over £131,000 cash.
As Commissioners, we all recognise the damage that illegal drugs can have within our communities and the damage that can be caused to vulnerable people. The drugs trade fuels a wider range of criminal behaviour, such as house burglaries, vehicle crime, shoplifting and other acquisitive crime, as addicts’ search for ways to get their next fix. Fighting drug dealers is very much part of my plan to tackle anti-social behaviour in all its forms.
Drug dealers are not welcome in Gloucestershire and the ring of steel we created for Op Scorpion will be repeated on a regular basis.
“Good progress but still more to do”
The Constabulary will also soon announce a major reorganisation, so that each of its three geographical divisions (The Cotswolds and Stroud; Cheltenham and Tewkesbury; Gloucester and The Forest of Dean) will have extra resources to conduct their own operations against neighbourhood crime and organised crime gangs. This reorganisation has been facilitated by the Government’s 20,000 uplift of police officers, which will increase the size of the Constabulary by some 150 officers over 3 years.
In fact, by the end of this month and since my election last May, I will have increased the size of the Constabulary by a total of 159 personnel, made up of 44 police officers, 19 Special Constables and 96 police staff. These improvements are a vital part of my new police and crime prevention plan and have already contributed to a 38% reduction in all manner of anti-social behaviour (house burglaries, street robbery, vehicle crime, annoying neighbours, excessive noise, graffiti, etc) since last May.
Good progress but more to do to keep you safe from crime.