Public urged to support fresh drive against drugs

Policing minister Nick Hurd with Havant MP Alan Mak

Havant MP says policing minister is ‘sympathetic’ to Hampshire police’s budget shortfall

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RESIDENTS’ lives blighted by drug crime will improve, the city’s senior police officer said.

Superintendent Will Schofield said families who see the effects of drugs – in terms of crime, violence or general disruption by living near addresses used by dealers – will see a difference.

‘Families and neighbours who are disrupted by this, we’ll make life better for,’ Supt Schofield said yesterday.

His added violent crime in the streets remains rare, but that often drug-related crime goes unreported to police.

The new team’s leader, Detective Inspector Linda Howard, said its work will tackle dealers – and help protect vulnerable addicts.

‘We have people who are particularly vulnerable to itinerant drug dealers,’ she said.

‘The plan is to identify them and, where we can, disrupt them and involve them and other agencies outside of the police and support them to come out of the situation that they’re in.

‘It’s about making Portsmouth and the area hostile to itinerant drug dealers.’

But police said they need support from the public.

Chief Inspector Jim Pegler added: ‘We ask members of the public to get in touch with us, specifically if they see people who might be vulnerable being exploited or maybe involved in drug-dealing. We need the public to help us.’