We wish new squad well in fight against drug dealers

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There are few people as low as drug dealers who make their shady living targeting addicts. The effect of their evil trade is of no consequence to them. They are quite happy to profit from the misery of others.

But it’s not just the addicts whose lives they blight. Because to fund a habit encouraged and fed by dealers, these people will go shoplifting, commit house burglaries and break into cars.

So we’re pleased to report today that a new 10-strong squad of police officers has started a six-month operation to root out drug traffickers who target the Portsmouth area.

It certainly got off to a good start. Within hours of Detective Inspector Linda Howard drawing her team together for the first time, two people were arrested as cocaine and cannabis were seized from a city address.

DI Howard has a strong message for dealers who think they can come here and make easy money. She told The News: ‘I want the message to go out there that this team is in place, that if you come and deal drugs in Portsmouth, or exploit people, the chances are we’ll hear about it and will be paying you a visit.

She added: ‘We’ll make it hostile for you.’

In an age of cutbacks and juggling of budgets, it’s refreshing to see that the police have recognised a particular problem and managed to allocate resources to go after unscrupulous dealers.

One particularly disturbing aspect of their trade that the police intend to focus on is the exploitation of children enlisted as ‘runners’.

Then there are those youngsters who innocently become enmeshed in the world of drugs.

So again it is encouraging that when the new team executed a warrant yesterday, children were found at an address linked to drug-dealing and social services were informed – helping to protect them from any future risk.

We wish the squad well and urge readers to support its work by being its eyes and ears on the ground. If you see people who might be vulnerable being exploited or maybe involved in drug-dealing, tell the police.