Drug dealers targeting Ipswich arrested

NEARLY 100 suspected drug dealers have been arrested in a major crackdown on city pushers, Ipswich police said today.

NEARLY 100 suspected drug dealers have been arrested in a major crackdown on city pushers, Ipswich police said today.

The police operation - codenamed Academy - has also netted 1,100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine as officers continue to target dealers infiltrating the town from places with serious drug problems.

Detective chief inspector Louisa Pepper, who is heading the crackdown, said more than £9,000 in cash and a quantity of cannabis have also been seized.

The pervasive nature of drug dealers coming to Suffolk from larger towns and cities is something which has become increasingly prevalent over the past ten years.

Operation Academy was set up to underpin other anti-drug initiatives such as Operation Crackdown, which are already in place to tackle the problem.

It arose out of last December's killings of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, all of whom had problems with drugs.

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Since Operation Academy began in January 94 arrests have been made. The suspects are predominantly from London however, others have come from Essex, Manchester and Norwich.

Det ch insp Pepper said: “Operation Academy focuses on issues of concern to the community. Class A drugs are a concern for us and that's what we have said we are going to focus on and we have delivered on that.

“I think the drug dealers know we are targeting them, we won't tolerate it and will focus our attention on bringing them before the courts.

“This operation complements things like our vice strategy which is being compiled by the police and our partners. It also complements our commitment to deliver community policing.”

Despite concerns about the effects on Suffolk of a burgeoning drug problem nationally, Det Ch Insp Pepper, moved quickly to reassure residents.

She said: “I don't think we have any more of a problem than any other county town. We are liaising with partners such as treatment providers and the borough council with regard to tackling the drugs issue. It is about a multi-agency approach and making the county safer.”

Although two BB guns and a throwing knife have also been seized during the crackdown, police stressed no firearms or live ammunition have been found.

N Has your life been blighted by drugs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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