Gosport police defend drug seizure as more than 'just a bit of cannabis' after criticism on social media
POLICE in Gosport have defended their uncovering of four small bags of cannabis as an effort to undermine serious criminality – after residents took to social media to call it ‘a waste of time’.
The class B drugs were found in Pannall Road in Elson at 6.15pm last Thursday, following concerns raised at a beat surgery at Elson Library.
Officers posted on Facebook that they had seized four bags of cannabis and a grinder – and were met with scores of comments mocking the police’s priorities.
Several comments implied that the work was ‘a waste of time’ and that officers should be focusing on ‘real crimes’.
But police have pushed-back at the criticism in an effort to remind residents that cannabis dealing can be linked to firearm offences and county lines gangs, according to a spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary.
He said: ‘We know that a lot people will think – “it’s just a bit of cannabis” - but we want to stress that any production and supply of drugs is linked to hidden harm.
‘Gangs involved in the production of drugs are often linked to very serious violence involving weapons, such as firearms. They may also take advantage of vulnerable people, exploiting them or making them work in servitude.
‘It is not just a bit of cannabis, it’s linked to serious criminality.
‘That’s why we are really keen to hear from people who suspect there is cannabis cultivation or drug related activity going on in their neighbourhood.’
The officers’ work also showed that police take residents’ concerns seriously, according to the police spokesman.
He said: ‘This highlights the importance and success of our beat surgeries – residents raise the issues affecting them and we can take positive action.
‘Every call you make to us is logged and helps us build up an intelligence picture about what might be happening in your community. This allows us to take action and prevent your neighbourhoods from harm.’