Police warn drug dealers

POLICE leading Suffolk's fight against drugs today said they were determined to come down hard on the dealers destroying lives and tearing apart families in the county.

POLICE leading Suffolk's fight against drugs today said they were determined to come down hard on the dealers destroying lives and tearing apart families in the county.

Suffolk police was redoubling its efforts against the lucrative drug trade as it declared drugs was one of the most serious problems facing the county.

The force is taking part in a special series of events and operations with other agencies to mark National Tackling Drugs Week between May 19 and 23.

Today it called on the public to help that war on drugs by acting as its eyes and ears and by reporting suspicious behaviour.

Detective Chief Inspector David Skevington said: “Suffolk Constabulary is dedicated to targeting drug dealing, drug misuse and the associated crime.

“This issue blights our local communities and our message is 'your call can make a difference'.

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“Information from members of the public is key in tackling this issue. While overall crime is down, latest figures for 2007/8 show an increase of 5.8per cent in the number of drug offences being recorded.”

The force links that rise in the number of offences with greater success in apprehending offenders but the results also show that drugs continue to be a major cause of crime in the county.

The total number of drug offences recorded in 2001/2002 was 1,292. By 2007/2008 that had risen to 1,884.

It is estimated that there are approximately 2,600 problem drug users in Suffolk. According to the Home Office, about three-quarters of crack and heroin users claim they commit crime to feed their habit.

Simon Aalders, the coordinator of the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team, said: “Last year 1,460 people received drug treatment in the county, an increase of over 200 on the previous year.

“This demonstrates two things very clearly, one: help is now more available than ever before and two: that the problem of drug abuse effects a significant number of people in the county.”

If you have information about drug activity in your local area, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you are worried about your drug or alcohol use, or that of a friend or relative, then call the DAAT helpline on 01473 299640 between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday to get advice and information.

For more information about drugs log-on to the FRANK website: www.talktofrank.com or phone 0800 77 66 00.

Has your life been affected by drugs? What do you think can be done to tackle the drug trade? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk