POLICE officers say that a focus on tackling drug-related crimes has had a ‘big impact’ in Gosport.
At a meeting on Friday night, members of the Central policing team outlined the strategies they have been implementing to tackle drug-related issues have seen success, with a number of closure orders on properties.
Police say that they have also been concentrating on the disruption of drug problems in the town – and that there are ‘known people’ they are keeping an eye on.
The news comes after it was revealed last year that Gosport had the highest rate of drug-related deaths in the south coast.
PCSO Tracy Burton says that police operations have recently led to successful closure orders on properties in Gosport.
She said: ‘From the work we have been doing we have managed to secure three closure orders in the town, including in Gorselands Way and Turner Avenue.
‘These closure orders come about from known drug use, and are a great way of causing disruption to drug-related activities in the area.
‘Sometimes just being out on my bike can have an impact – just disrupting the activity can put a stop to it altogether.
‘But crucially, we do know who these people are and are keeping an eye on them.’
Police say that this strategy of disruption goes hand-in-hand with criminal prosecutions.
Sgt Katie Clift said: ‘The disruption tactic has not replaced prosecution in any way.
‘Arrests are often made in conjunction with these closure orders, because we have been able to piece together who is doing what and, most importantly, where.
‘Just in the last week a car was stopped, drugs were found and people were taken to court for it.
‘There is an element of being in the right place at the right time, but this strategy is working.’
Police officers are now asking for the public to help them as they continue to clamp down on drug-related issues in the borough.
Sgt Clift said: ‘Everything that is reported to us helps to build our evidence and that makes it easier in court.
‘If you have information available then please do call 101 – we might not always reply but that information is always passed on to us, and is always helpful.’
PC Harriet Copley said: ‘The more information we have available to us, the easier it is to take action.
‘There have been many times where we have patrolled a certain area based on information we received just the night before.
‘If there is something you are concerned about, please do tell us.’