Officers across Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport have taken part in a day of action to disrupt suspected drug gangs and safeguard vulnerable people in the area.
On Monday 6 November 2017 police officers targeted over 60 addresses in Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth as part of the operation.
The addresses were identified as being used by suspected drug gangs in what is known as ‘cuckooing’. This is where alleged drug dealers take over the homes of vulnerable people to deal drugs from these addresses.
It is reported that the victims are often promised free drugs or threatened with violence if they do not comply with these gangs.
Officers attended the properties to check on the welfare of the individuals living there, while also checking for any suspicious activity taking place within the building at that time.
Weymouth police also executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 at an address in St Thomas Street in the town centre following information from the community.
The day of action involved officers from around the Force, including neighbourhood policing teams, enhanced policing teams, CID and the dog unit.
As a result of proactive patrols in Weymouth, two arrests were made. A 27-year-old Weymouth man was arrested on suspicion of possession and supply of a controlled class A drug. A 22-year-old Weymouth man was arrested on suspicion of possession and attempt to supply a controlled class A drug. Both men have been released under investigation.
Police Sergeant Andy Jenkins, of Weymouth Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The day of action was based on intelligence from our communities.
“During the course of the operation we discovered several people in properties who did not live there and could not provide a reasonable account as to why they were at the address. We supported the lawful tenants and housing association in confirming no drugs were present and these people were removed from the property.
“Neighbourhood officers and partner agencies will in the future be taking further action to ensure that the properties visited on Monday are not being used for suspected drug dealing.
“The public may feel that when they report incidents of alleged drug dealing we do not take immediate action and that we are ignoring their concerns. This is not the case. These reports help us to gain an intelligence picture and gather the necessary evidence to target alleged offenders, while also helping to safeguard vulnerable people in our community.
“I hope this sends out a very clear message that we will continue to keep the pressure on suspected individuals.
“I would urge members of the public who may have concerns, suspicions or any information about the misuse of drugs to contact Dorset Police.”
Anyone with information about the misuse of drugs is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.