Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C


Catching gang lords is key to stopping spread of drug crime, top officer says

PUBLISHED: 08:09 08 October 2018

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith says that the most dangerous criminals are to be targeted by the new task force. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith says that the most dangerous criminals are to be targeted by the new task force. Picture: GREGG BROWN


The most senior gang lords need to be targeted if drug-related crime is to be stamped out across the county.

That is the message from Det Supt Andy Smith, from Suffolk Constabulary, after the force set up a new 11-strong Serious Crime Detection Team (SCDT) to clamp down on the problem.

County lines drug dealing, where gangs travel to Suffolk from London to ply their trade, has been named as one of the biggest policing challenges facing the county. Police believe stopping senior gang members in their tracks will stop the spread of crime and prevent them from exploiting vulnerable people by taking over their homes – known as ‘cuckooing’ – or recruiting them as drug runners.

Det Supt Smith said: “The team are focusing on high-threat and high-harm crimes like the problem of children being groomed by gangs, drug dealing and the related online crime these create.

“The figures from our work in September, taking £9,500 of drugs and £4,400 of cash off the streets, are a sign of the success of this kind of work and the reason we need the SCDT.”

Det Supt Smith explained the people drug lords exploit cannot only be dealt with by police.

He added: “This is not a prosecution approach.

“We have a safeguarding team working with other agencies, we seek out treatment and housing for vulnerable people.

“It’s a long-term process. We need to help users change their behaviour and the only way to do that is with all agencies working together.

“All of our team are experienced individuals who are developing their expertise, receiving training and acting as a force-wide resource.

“The police support investigators will be responsible for carrying out the enforcements and gathering the intelligence that will help our unit to build prosecution files as we take a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to catching these criminals.”

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Whilst I am pleased the constabulary has introduced this new team, I do believe that these drug-related issues cannot be dealt with by policing alone and I will continue to work with other public sector partners in the county.

“I think drugs, and the violence linked to this despicable trade, are the biggest threats facing Suffolk at the moment so I’m pleased to see this new team in place.”

Get out the hats, gloves and overcoats today as it’s going to be cold.

A proposal to create 100 new homes on the site of former council offices looks set to be refused.

A 16-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed in the car park of a McDonald’s restaurant in Ipswich during a violent fight in front of shocked members of the public, it has been alleged.

This year’s Surviving Winter appeal has got off to one of its best ever starts in Suffolk – and has been boosted by a record £30,000 match funding pledge.

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses after a HGV failed to stop after colliding with another vehicle in Ipswich.

Christmas has arrived in the Ipswich high street with festive displays in many windows - we find out what is selling fast and how sales are comparing to last year.

It is a swanky diner which brings a touch of American culture to the streets of Ipswich.

An ex-Ipswich Town player who worked with asbestos before becoming a professional footballer died of industrial disease, an inquest heard.

Author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz visited Woodbridge to give a talk at Seckford Hall about his life and works. We caught up with him to talk about his home in Orford, his love for Suffolk and how he plans to spend eternity in the county.

An Ipswich man who drove with no headlights after drinking eight cans of lager at a barbecue has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24