PCCs and police across the south west target drugs in Operation Scorpion
This week officers and staff across Wiltshire Police will be tackling drug dealing as part of the latest phase of a regional crackdown.
Earlier this year the five Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces across the South West combined their operational powers and launched Operation Scorpion.
This new initiative was designed to tackle drugs supply and criminal activity, and during the first week of activity back in March, saw 20 people arrested in Wiltshire, as well as drugs, cash and weapons seized.
The first phase of Operation Scorpion resulted in the following across the region:
194 arrests in connection with drugs related offences
55 warrants carried out
400 drug line disruptions
£404K (at least ) of suspected drugs seized
£131K (at least) of cash seized
320 vulnerability / welfare checks carried out and people safeguarded
A vast array of weapons seized including tasers, knives and machetes.
Throughout this week, officers and staff from various teams and departments will continue this work, focusing on engaging with our communities to gather intelligence on local drug dealers.
This wider community engagement work will both educate local people about spotting the signs of drug dealing and listening to people’s concerns so we can gather information and build intelligence.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson said: "Drug dealing is a concern that is raised with me by Wiltshire's residents time and time again – they destroy their daily lives and make it impossible, on occasion, for ordinary lives to continue. The knock-on effects of drug dealers in communities can make life unbearable.
"Operation Scorpion goes after those dealers embedded in our communities and we are going to make their lives so uncomfortable they no longer see Wiltshire as a soft option for their criminality.
"This operation is a direct result of the commitment and tenacity from the south west’s PCCs to tackle drug-related crime and associated anti-social behaviour in their communities.
"There is no place for drugs in Wiltshire or the wider south west and we are going to make our region a hostile environment for all drug dealers.
"Drugs don't recognise county borders and only by working together with all those who police the south west will we Make Wiltshire Safer."
Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “We know that drug dealing is something which causes great harm to our communities across Wiltshire.
“These local dealers, who run operations selling illegal drugs to vulnerable drug users living within their own neighbourhoods, have no thought or regard to the misery they are creating.
“These illegal enterprises bring with them violence, intimidation, exploitation and anti-social behaviour, and I hope that operations like the one we are running this week, shows the public that it will not be tolerated.
“Although this is the sort of work which is ongoing 52 weeks a year, over the next seven days we will be combining resources with other agencies and organisations, and carrying out focused and targeted work to make a real difference.
“Your local Community Policing Teams will be out and about throughout the week, hosting engagement events and speaking to members of the public, so I would urge everyone to take a moment to stop and talk to these officers and staff. They will listen to your concerns, offer advice and support, and provide information so that we all know the signs to look out for and the action we can all take to tackle drug dealing.”
Operation Scorpion sees Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Police, alongside their respective offices of Police and Crime Commissioners, the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and the charity CrimeStoppers, working together to tackle drug dealing and associated criminal activity.
If you have information about drug dealing or suspicious activity in your community please report it to us. No matter how small the piece of information is, it will be recorded and used to build up a bigger intelligence picture that officers can then act on.
Call us on 101 - all information is held securely and your name will not be used in evidence. Or if you prefer, ring CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You can also report it online by going to our website.