PSNI launch initiative to tackle street-level drug dealing

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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched a new initiative to tackle street-level drug dealing across Northern Ireland. Operation Torus combines a media campaign designed to encourage people to report drug dealing with police action against dealers on the ground. The media campaign incorporates billboards, Facebook and washroom advertising and will run until October. Since operational activity began on 20th August, police have conducted 1,142 searches and seized £287,781.25 worth of drugs, and have arrested 198 people throughout Northern Ireland. Speaking about the initiative, Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations Drew Harris, said: “We know that street-level drug dealing is happening across all Districts throughout Northern Ireland and we need the help and support of local communities to remove this activity from our streets. “If you know that illegal drugs are being sold or distributed in your area, please pick up the phone and contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. The types of drugs seized during the operation have included cannabis, herbal cannabis, cocaine, mephadrone and prescription drugs.” Police have conducted 400 searches and arrested 34 people in E District – which incorporates the Newry & Mourne area – since the operation began. Crime Manager for E District, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Wright, said: “Local communities throughout E District have told us that they do not want drug dealing on their streets, that they want their children to be safe from illegal drugs and this is what we are trying to achieve through Op Torus. We are looking at all the information available to us and acting on it. “We are carrying out searches, disrupting dealers and making it more and more difficult for dealers to sell drugs on our streets. The success of the operation depends largely on support from the public. He continued, “The vast majority of residents in E District are aware of how dangerous illegal drugs or misusing prescription medication or other chemical products can be but some young people don’t realise the consequences of becoming caught up in drugs. “I would ask parents to take this opportunity to discuss illegal drugs with their children and explain the long term consequences. Young people who take illegal drugs can get into dangerous situations or activities that they would not normally dream of doing. “It can also lead to a criminal record which can damage employment and travel prospects.” Wright added, “Our message today is clear and simple: if you see or know of anyone who is dealing drugs in your local area, then contact your local police on 0845 600 8000 or alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and pass on any details that you may have. “This is about empowering and working with local communities to make E Districts safer, reducing the threat posed by street-level drugs and dealing with offenders robustly through the criminal justice system.”
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