What is the Police and Crime Commissioner doing about tackling drug dealing in my area?
The Commissioner has, through local taxation, funded an increase in police officer numbers which, when combined with a nationally-funded uplift, resulted in record officer numbers of 3,610 officers for Devon and Cornwall Police. This figure was achieved in 2022-23 and will be maintained in 2023-24.
In addition, by collaborating closely with all Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables within the region, the Commissioner has been working to target and disrupt drug supply routes into the region through operations which use intelligence, technology, joint innovation and robust policing to stop drug dealers on their tracks. By harnessing our collective power, the Commissioner seeks to create a "ring of steel" around the South West, with all services working together to prevent drugs getting into our communities.
In the first week of March 2022, 46 people were arrested during Operation Medusa in Plymouth and South Devon and £17,300 worth of drugs were seized - these are now safely off our streets and will be destroyed. For more information, please see: 'Large parts of our community are considerably safer because of this operation' - says the Commissioner · Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner (devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk)
These numbers were further strengthened by Operation Scorpion, joint operations between police forces in five South West forces which started in March 2022 and are repeated regularly. Drugs worth many tens of thousands of pounds have been seized under the Operation Scorpion banner, hundreds of safeguarding referrals have been made and weapons have been taken off the streets. For further details please see: Major joint drug operation shows South West is No Place For Drugs · Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner (devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk)
The Commissioner is committed to continuing to support these operations in the future with the aim of creating a "ring of steel" around the Southwest to prevent drugs getting into our communities. Residents can expect to see further operations across Devon and Cornwall over the coming months. The locations selected for these operations are an operational matter for Devon and Cornwall Police and are based on available evidence and intelligence and so it is important that people report drug-related incidents where they witness them. Details on how to report can be found under the following FAQ: ‘I have noticed some drug dealing or drug taking in my local area, what can be done about it?’