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Cash, drugs and weapons seized across South West during Operation Scorpion

Cash, drugs and weapons seized across South West during Operation Scorpion

Devon & Cornwall Police Officers seize a knife during an Operation Scorpion raid in Plymouth

Huge quantities of crack cocaine, cannabis and heroin; weapons including a number of firearms, a Samurai sword, machete and knives, were also recovered in the latest phase of Operation Scorpion an initiative involving the South West’s five police forces.

Figures just released show that across the region there were:

• 64 arrests

• £152,173 worth of drugs seized

• £198,088 cash seized

• 29 weapons were seized

• 28 vulnerable people safeguarded

• As well as a quantity of clothing, motorbikes and high value cars were also seized

During the seven days of operations from June 10-16, police teams across the south west targeted gangs and addresses of suspected drugs dealers and suppliers; stepped-up patrols of known hotspots and used technology to disrupt so-called county-lines activities.

South West regional drugs intensification weeks like Operation Scorpion are a collaboration between the five police forces in the South West region – Dorset, Devon & Cornwall, Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The region’s five Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the independent charity Crimestoppers are also combining their resources to tackle drug supply in the region and make the South West a hostile environment for those who deal drugs and engage in anti-social drug taking activity.

The scale of Operation Scorpion 8 across Devon and Cornwall is reflected in the results:

· 15 people were arrested, of which 5 have been charged with various offences

· 25 people have been safeguarded, 17 adults and 8 children

· £170 worth of vapes containing THC have also been seized.

The largest single seizure was 0.156KG of cocaine with £9,360 in Cornwall. Another Class A seizure was 50 grams of heroin worth £3,500. Cannabis packages were also seized totalling approximately £7,180 and also cash to the sum of £11,140. Additional packages of both Class A and Class B drugs and a cannabis grow were also intercepted to a value of £20,000.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Pearce said: “Devon & Cornwall Police is committed to working with our partners and other forces in the region, to stop the flow of drugs into our counties and to disrupt the associated criminal activity, during intensified operations like Op Scorpion all year round.

“In Devon and Cornwall, Operation Scorpion 8 has denied approximately £40,220 worth of drugs, weapons and cash to criminal gangs and individuals, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“We also want to bring relief to communities blighted by the antisocial behaviour, crime and fear which accompanies the misuse of drugs, and to safeguard vulnerable people. The results of Operation Scorpion 8 show we are achieving this, and I cannot overemphasise how important the intelligence we receive from the public is in helping us to target our resources.”

Proactive activity included warrants served in Devonport, Plymouth, following reports of anti-social behaviour blighting the lives of local residents which you can read about here: Police take action to end residents drugs misery

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “Every effort taken by the police is one more drug dealer or drug supply disrupted. Our communities are sick of drug dealers exploiting our children and those adults who can’t fend for themselves. I will continue prioritising drugs in this term of office and support the police in every way I can to keep up the momentum.”

Speaking on behalf of the south west regions’ five PCCs, Chris Nelson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: “This is our 8th regional operation targeting the illegal drugs trade, and I know the public want us to take more action against drug dealers and all their associated violence and anti-social behaviour.

“So I was pleased to witness a very successful operation on day one that led to the arrest of 7 offenders, the seizure of a significant amount of Class A drugs and weapons, and the confiscation of a dangerous looking XL bully dog.

“Our officers always go above and beyond to keep communities safe from these vile criminals but we also need the public to report whenever they suspect drug dealing, so we can build up our intelligence picture to allow officers to focus first on where the problem is worst.”

Anyone with information about illegal drugs activity in Devon and Cornwall should report it to Devon and Cornwall Police online service online here or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency or if anyone is in immediate danger.

Your information will be treated in confidence, but of you prefer to report anonymously please do so through Crimestoppers. You can call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year on 0800 555 111 or you can use the non-traceable online form here