Police find drugs and cash during city clampdown

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Police outside Blake's nightclub in Gravesend after a car drove down the alleyway next to the club and crashed into a marquee injuring a number of people. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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CANNABIS and thousands of pounds linked to drug dealing were seized in a city-wide crackdown.

Officers arrested two men in their 30s on suspicion of money laundering after intelligence led them to stop a white van in Eastern Road, Portsmouth.

On searching the van police discovered cannabis and what is believed to be more than £6,200 in cash.

The money and drugs were seized.

More than 70 officers – including Police Community Support Officers, Roads Policing Unit, the dog unit, CID and RPU proactive unit – flooded the streets in Operation Craven.

The crackdown saw officers target dealers who travel to Portsmouth to peddle drugs.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, who is leading Operation Craven, said: ‘Intelligence and evidence suggests there is a common theme with young men coming to Portsmouth to deal drugs who have a propensity to commit acts of serious violence and we have established links to dangerous gangs known to the Metropolitan Police.’

British Transport Police officers were deployed to Fratton station and the UK Border Agency worked with Hampshire Constabulary.

Extra officers were on patrol, stationed at key routes surrounding the city including the M27, M275, Northern Road, Eastern Road and A3.

Portsmouth District Chief Inspector Steve Burridge said: ‘We must be relentless in reinforcing the reality that Portsmouth is a harsh, unforgiving climate for anyone who thinks they can get away with bringing illegal drugs into the city.

‘A priority for police is protecting people from those who could cause them harm. Some thrive upon preying on the addictions and weaknesses of vulnerable people and their families. They deserve to live in a community where this type of fear and misery cannot be inflicted.

‘Crime is down by 15 per cent in Portsmouth this year and we’re determined to continue this reduction.

‘In total 508 people have been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences in Portsmouth since April, so if you’re involved in supplying illegal drugs, you can expect more police action aimed at shutting down your activity.’

Inspector Sarah White, of the British Transport Police said: ‘In this instance drug carrying and dealing on the railway in Portsmouth was identified as being of concern.’