Drug squad in Portsmouth arrest 100 people and seize £280,000 worth of drugs

File photo of a drugs raid. Picture: Hampshire police
File photo of a drugs raid. Picture: Hampshire police
An image from the Portsmouth Cannabis Facebook page, posted in October 2016 Gwyfd_TPwXAkLS7wruiA

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A BOY arrested over suspected drug dealing was the 100th person to be held by a drugs team in Portsmouth.

Police in the drugs-related harm team, set up in Portsmouth in January, have seized £280,000 worth of drugs.

Chief inspector Jim Pegler

Chief inspector Jim Pegler

Weapons including imitation firearms, knives, blades, asps and batons have also been taken off the streets.

Around £37,000 in cash was seized and financial investigators are trying to target the assets of suspected drug dealers and others thought to be profiting through crime.

More than 200 drug addicts exploited by drug dealers have been safeguarded, along with 14 children.

The 100th arrest, a 16-year-old boy from Essex, was held on suspicion of being concerned in offer to supply a Class A drug but was been released from custody and remains under investigation.

Drugs-related harm Detective Sergeant Dan Sanzen-Baker, said: ‘I am pleased with the results that our team has achieved so far; we have proactively tackled drug dealing and removed drugs and weapons from the streets of Portsmouth and most importantly we have safeguarded vulnerable children and adults, who are exploited by drugs gangs.

‘We have received positive feedback from our partners who like this style of policing, which focuses on taking action against the drug dealers, not the vulnerable users.

Portsmouth district chief inspector Jim Pegler, said: ‘When we set up this Drug Related Harm team we sent out a clear message that we would identify the drugs networks that cause the most harm and dismantle them.

‘Police resources are limited but we will be relentless in tackling people who bring high levels of drug related harm to Portsmouth. We accept that there is a demand for drugs like heroin and crack in Portsmouth and we recognise that often people using these drugs have multiple and complex needs.

‘We encourage people gripped by addiction to seek help and treatment as this is the only way to reduce the demand for these dangerous drugs. Substance misuse remains a key focus for the Safer Portsmouth Partnership because of the wide ranging impact it has in the city.’

He added: ‘I am not complacent, the reality is that there is no shortage of gangs from London and other cities who will quickly fill any gaps in the drug market. So we remain determined to make the city safer through search, seizure and arrests targeting the most risky drug networks.

‘There will always be people who supply drugs in Portsmouth but if they exploit children or vulnerable adults, bring weapons and violence to our city then we will dismantle the networks and lock up the organisers. The community has a massive part to play in helping us take opportunities to identify and arrest drug dealers.’

He urged people to call 101 with any information.