POLICE in Portsmouth took part in a drugs clampdown for a week – making eight arrests.
Cops sought to disrupt drug dealing and pursue offenders from drugs networks who bring violence to the city as part of its “county lines” campaign.
Police also looked to tackle the exploitation of children and vulnerable people who are used to run drugs or by accommodating them in their homes.
Undercover and plain clothed officers carried out extra patrols, undertook visits to the homes of known drug users and targeted local transport networks, including motorways and railways, in partnership with British Transport Police.
On Monday last week officers arrested a 24-year-old man from Portsmouth on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs near Cosham railway station. He has been released from custody but remains under investigation.
Drugs related harm team officers arrested three people for drugs offences in Crabbe Court, Southsea, last Tuesday. A 24-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man and a 26-year-old man all from Portsmouth were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
On Wednesday two men from London were arrested in Cottage Grove, Southsea, on suspicion of possession and supplying Class A drugs and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.
Two people are due to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on October 22 after they were arrested in New Road last Friday. Jordan Andrew Whyte, 18, of The Tideway, Rochester, Kent, was charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin and two counts of possessing a bladed article in public.
A 17-year-old boy from Chatham, Kent, was charged with the same offences. They both appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court last Saturday and were remanded in custody.
Cash, drugs and weapons were also seized during the clampdown during the past week.
Detective chief inspector Nick Heelan said: ‘I hope this week of intensified action reassures the residents of Portsmouth that we are continuing to target drug dealers, to prevent harm and to protect communities.
‘We know that “county lines” gangs cause significant harm by bringing violence to our city and criminally and sexually exploiting children and vulnerable adults.
‘This is why drugs related harm is a priority for us and our partners, who we work with on a daily basis to tackle offenders, to reduce the associated violence and to safeguard the vulnerable people caught up in it.
‘We also need the public’s help. If you’re spotting the signs of a drugs runner, please call the police, or one of our partners, such as Portsmouth City Council, the Modern Slavery Helpline or the anonymous Crimestoppers.’
Portsmouth district commander, superintendent Maggie Blyth, said: ‘Tackling “county lines” requires a cross sector approach, not just a police response, so I am grateful to our partners, including Portsmouth City Council, who work closely with us to tackle criminal and sexual exploitation in the city and to safeguard the vulnerable.’
Anyone with information about drug-dealing can call the police on 101, or in an emergency 999. People should also call the the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Children’s Services at Portsmouth City Council also have a dedicated phone number to report concerns relating to the welfare of young people in the city, call 02392 688793.