Police strengthen their approach in battle against drug dealers in Suffolk

Police officers raid a house in Ipswich as part of a day of action targeting those suspected of supp

Police officers raid a house in Ipswich as part of a day of action targeting those suspected of supplying class A drugs. Picture: KAREN WILLIE - Credit: Archant

Police are stepping-up their no-nonsense battle with drug dealers targeting Suffolk by merging three operations across the county into one.

Increasing numbers of arrests are being made on a monthly basis with more than 2,500 people being detained in connection with drug-related crime since the beginning of 2015.

Last week a crackdown in Ipswich saw more than 50 arrests made in raids across the town.

Currently there are three operations – Volcanic in Ipswich, Boulevard in east Suffolk and London in the west of the county.

These will be combined into Operation Velocity, which senior officers say will build upon the successes, intelligence and analytical work harvested so far.

As the drug-dealing menace has continued to evolve with London gangs in particular targeting the county, and a rise in serious violent crime in Ipswich between last September and February this year, police are determined to tackle the problems robustly.

Officers stress they will continue to work with other agencies, especially those in the youth arena, to help those exploited or harmed.

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County Policing Commander Chief Superintendent Jenny Eves said: “Operation Velocity is almost the natural extension of what we have achieved so far.

“We have done, and continue to do, a great job in tackling the issue of drug-related crime and we have plenty of positive results to show for it.

“The issue we have around the drugs market is that you need to turn off the demand and that is about longer term intervention with partners and bringing about that more holistic response to drugs.”

Since March a special taskforce in Ipswich has arrested more than 100 people following the surge in violent crime.

Information from communities is still vital and residents are urged to play their part.

Chief Supt Eves said: “Don’t turn a blind eye.

“Talk to us about your concerns and we will work together to resolve the issue.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore added: “I really welcome this further initiative for catching and prosecuting the criminal gangs who trade illegal drugs in Suffolk.”

Anyone with information should telephone 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.