DEVON and Cornwall Police has taken part in a regional week of action which has resulted in multiple arrests and the seizure of cash, suspected drugs, weapons and mobile phones.
Teams from across the Force carried out proactive enforcement against those with suspected links to drugs offences, carrying out 56 arrests.
During the week of action, officers in Devon and Cornwall seized almost £250,000 worth of suspected class A, B and C drugs, over £7,000 in cash suspected to be linked to criminality, 66 mobile phones suspected to be involved in co-ordinating drug deals, 70 knives and six other weapons.
In addition, officers carried out safe and well checks on vulnerable people who may be susceptible to cuckooing, 91 intelligence led person searches and 41 intelligence led vehicle searches.
This was part of a wider operation, working with colleagues across the South West to make the area a hostile place for those involved in drug criminality.
Some notable activity from the week included a series of pre-planned warrants in West Cornwall where a man and woman were arrested on suspicion of supply of class A and C drugs.
Proceeds of crime applications were made to the court, which saw watches to the value of £10,000 seized, cash seized to the value of £3,000, as well as an account freezing order - preventing use of around £44,000 held in bank accounts.
In Plymouth, officers responded to intelligence where a man was reportedly in possession of two homemade Tasers and suspected cannabis.
Meanwhile, a warrant at an address in Exeter resulted in five people being located in a residential address in possession of suspected drugs and cash with several people arrested on suspicion of intent to supply class A drugs. A knife, machete and axe were also seized.
Following reports of suspicious packages on beaches in South Devon and East Cornwall, officers identified these items, which were subsequently found to have contained suspected cocaine with an estimated value of £60,000.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Parker, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We regularly undertake work to disrupt those who try to sell drugs across Devon and Cornwall, as well as those who visit us through county lines – bringing drugs from more urban areas of the country to the peninsular.
“We know that drugs can have a huge impact on our communities and children can often be exploited as part of this process, which is simply not acceptable and something we’re determined to tackle.
“I am proud of the hard work displayed by our dedicated officers, staff and volunteers throughout this week of action. The results speak for themselves, and communities should feel reassured that we’re responding to the information they share with us about suspected drug dealing.
“Our enforcement activity sends a clear message to suspected criminals that it won’t be tolerated, and they should consider this a hostile place for their activities.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “People living in our force area are sick of those using and dealing drugs in our communities.
“Illegal drugs blight the lives of so many, whether it’s children and vulnerable people being exploited by county lines gangs or neighbourhoods made to feel unsafe because of violence and antisocial behaviour linked to drug use.
“Tackling the misery caused by drugs is one of the priorities in my police and crime plan, and so I am pleased to see how successful this operation has been in taking illegal substances, weapons and those who use and deal them off the streets.“This latest week of action yet again proves how effective partnership working can be in tackling these issues, and I welcome the hard work of everyone who has helped us to the message to those involved in criminal activity that the South West is no place for drugs.”
If you have concerns about drug use or county lines in your area you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website: www.dc.police.uk – always call 999 if a crime is in progress.