TAKING action against drug dealers is saving vulnerable people and children from exploitation.
That is the message from police involved in the drug squad in Portsmouth, which was set up to tackle a surge in drug-related crime.
It comes as eight children and two people with mental health problems were discovered in investigations into the trade by police cracking down on the problem.
Part of the team’s work has seen a 17-year-old boy sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Detectives had found him with £600 to £700 worth of drugs, and about the same amount of cash.
Officers arrested him in St Andrew’s Road, Southsea, on January 13.
He admitted possession with intent to supply heroin, and possession with intent to supply cocaine, both class A drugs.
The boy was put under a two-year youth rehabilitation order by a judge at the court last month.
The judge also excluded the boy from entering Portsmouth.
He must complete 16 hours of substance misuse training and a six-day weapons awareness course.
The teenager was also put under a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 7am.
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘It’s a positive action, it’s targeting drug dealers and also vulnerable children who are being exploited by drug dealers.
‘We’re not going to tolerate drug dealing in Portsmouth.
‘We’re going to do our best to block them from our city.’
Anyone with information about drug-dealing should call police on 101.